Google Paid Executive $45m After Sexual Assault Allegation – Report

Court documents have revealed that a very senior Google executive was paid a huge amount of money as part of a controversial severance package.

Amit Singhal was reportedly paid as much as $45m according to some media reports, after he was forced to resign from the search engine giant, after a sexual assault investigation.

Amit Singhal was Google’s senior vice president for search, and such was his seniority at the firm, that he was the company spokesman in 2015 when the search giant said it would honour requests to remove “revenge porn” from its search listings.

Exit package

But in early 2016 Amit Singhal was forced to resign after he was accused of groping a subordinate at an off-campus event.

According to the New York Times, Google’s investigation found the subordinate’s claims credible, but it should be noted that Singhal has always denied the claims against him. He reportedly told the AP in 2017 that he left Google on his own terms.

He could not be reached for further comment.

Some media reports state that Google paid Singhal a $35m exit package, but the New York Times said that it was closer to $45m.

He reportedly received two $15m payments and a payment of between $5m to $15m as part of a separation agreement.

Details of the controversial exit package emerged in court documents, that had until Monday been redacted in places.

Google’s parent Alphabet is currently being sued by shareholders after a published report of payouts Google made to executives accused of sexual misconduct.

The lawsuit alleges that the board of firectors agreed to pay off and otherwise support male executives facing misconduct charges, opening the company to reputational and financial damage.

Sexual harassment

It comes after Alphabet boss Sundar Pichai last year admitted that the company had fired 48 employees for sexual harassment over the past two years.

That admission from Pichai came after a New York Times article that alleged that Google had protected three senior executives from allegations of sexual misconduct, which allegedly included the father of Android Andy Rubin.

Rubin stepped down from his position as Android boss in 2013, and eventually left Google altogether in October 2014.

Rubin however has denied the sexual misconduct allegations and has previously said that the New York Times story contained ‘numerous inaccuracies,’ and wild exaggerations about his compensation.

Last November, after weeks of protests, Google said it would penalise staff for failing to complete mandatory sexual harassment training as part of changes to the way it handles sexual harassment claims.

It also promised to end mandatory arbitration in cases of sexual misconduct.

It came after 20,000 staff around the world staged walkouts at their local offices, in protest over the firm’s handling of sexual harassment claims.

Staff anger

Over the past couple of years, it is fair to say that Google has experienced some tensions within its workforce.

In 2017 Google famously fired James Damore, the software engineer whose memo criticised the company’s diversity programme.

In January 2018 Damore sued Google for allegedly discriminating against conservative white males.

Damore accused the technology giant of “systematically” singling out, punishing and terminating employees whose views on diversity, social justice and gender bias differed from the majority view at Google.

Damore had reportedly said it was the inherent biological differences between men and women, more so than explicit discrimination that accounts for any gaps that might exist between the genders in the workplace.

And in February last year former Google employee Tim Chevalier hit the search engine giant with another lawsuit, in which he alleged he was fired for his liberal political activism whilst working for the company.

Chevalier’s lawsuit said that he identifies himself as a liberal and as “disabled, queer, and transgender.”

Chevalier alleged that Google staff frequently posted discriminatory and harassing comments about him on internal social forums.

Quiz: What do you know about Google?

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

View Comments

  • An allegation is just that an allegation, it doesn't mean its true, and fair justice demands that the person is presumed innocent unless it can shown beyond reasonable doubt that the allegation is true. This is as true for people accused of sexual harassment at work as it is for those accused of murder or robbery. Google's actions may keep the #metoo and others happy but its not compatible with fair justice.

    Although one does have some sympathy for Google, they are stuck somewhere between a rock and a hard place!

Recent Posts

Intel Celebrates As EU Court Strikes Down 2009 Antitrust Fine

Twelve year legal battle sees EU court grant Intel's appeal against $1.2 billion EU antitrust…

7 hours ago

US Commerce Dept Warns Of Severe Chip Shortages

Some manufacturers have less than 5 days supply of computer chips, putting US manufacturing at…

9 hours ago

The Future of Consumer Tech in Business

As consumer and business technologies continue to merge, and as businesses transform into post-pandemic enterprises,…

9 hours ago

IMF Urges El Salvador To Drop Bitcoin As Legal Tender

South American country El Salvador urged to reconsider its decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal…

12 hours ago

Google Sued For ‘Deceptive’ Location Tracking Practices

Four attorneys general in the US are suing Google for allegedly misleading users about when…

14 hours ago