Google said Thursday it fired 48 employees in the past two years, including 13 senior executives, as a result of sexual harassment allegations, citing “an increasingly hard line” on inappropriate conduct.
The US tech giant issued the statement from chief executive Sundar Pichai in response to a New York Times report that one senior Google employee, Android creator Andy Rubin, received an exit package worth $90 million as he faced allegations of misconduct, and that Google had covered up other claims of sexual harassment.
Asked by AFP and other media for its reaction, Google released an email sent to employees from Pichai stating that 48 people had been terminated for sexual harassment in the past two years, including 13 who were senior managers and above and that none received “an exit package.”
“In recent years, we’ve made a number of changes, including taking an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority,” Pichai said.
He added that the report on Rubin and others “was difficult to read” but he did not directly address the claims in the article.
“We are dead serious about making sure we provide a safe and inclusive workplace,” he said. “We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action.”
Sam Singer, a spokesman for Rubin, rejected the allegations against him in a statement to AFP, saying Rubin left Google of his own accord to launch venture capital firm and technology incubator Playground.
Rubin went on to found smartphone company Essential. The Android operating system, which Google makes available to device makers free of charge, powers about 85 percent of the world’s smartphones.
The New York Times cited court documents and interviews while reporting that Rubin was one of three senior executives that Google has shielded in the past decade after complaints of inappropriate sexual behavior.
The Times cited two unnamed Google executives as saying that then-chief executive Larry Page asked for Rubin’s resignation after the company confirmed a complaint by a woman about a sexual encounter in a hotel in 2013.
A Google investigation found the woman’s complaint credible, the Times reported.
Trump suggests hitting France with 100 percent tariff on wine over dispute with Macron
According to a report from Bloomberg, President Donald Trump publicly suggested that he would consider a 100 percent tariff on wines coming from France.
The report states that the president recently made the suggestion as part of his trade war that has crippled American manufacturers and farmers while at the same time hitting American consumers' wallets.
Trump's comments came during a recent Long Island fundraiser and were tied to his unhappiness with President Emmanuel Macron and his tax on multinational technology companies.
Gun found in FedEx package sent from US to China
Chinese authorities have found at least one firearm in a FedEx package sent from the US, local police said Sunday, in the latest incident to befall the logistics firm in China.
Police in Fuzhou, eastern Fujian province, said "in recent days" they had received a tip about a package sent to a Fujian-based sporting goods company.
The parcel was sent by a US client and contained at least one firearm, said Jin'an district police through their official Twitter-like Weibo account.
The firearm has been seized and officers are investigating, they added, without specifying the number of weapons in the package.
The language gives it away: How an algorithm can help us detect fake news
Have you ever read something online and shared it among your networks, only to find out it was false?
As a software engineer and computational linguist who spends most of her work and even leisure hours in front of a computer screen, I am concerned about what I read online. In the age of social media, many of us consume unreliable news sources. We’re exposed to a wild flow of information in our social networks — especially if we spend a lot of time scanning our friends’ random posts on Twitter and Facebook.
My colleagues and I at the Discourse Processing Lab at Simon Fraser University have conducted research on the linguistic characteristics of fake news.