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Google CEO tries to calm staff after report on misconduct

Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai sought to reassure employees of the internet giant after a newspaper report said a former top executive was paid millions of dollars when he left following allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct.

In the past two years, 48 people have been terminated for sexual harassment, including 13 who were senior managers and above, Pichai and Eileen Naughton, vice president of people operations, wrote in an email to staff. None of these individuals received an exit package, they added. A Google spokeswoman sent a copy of the email to media.

A Google employee accused then-Android chief Andy Rubin of misconduct in a hotel room in 2013.  Google investigated, concluded her claim was credible, and asked Rubin to resign. The company could have fired Rubin and paid him little to nothing, but instead paid him a US$90mil (RM375.97mil) exit package and didn’t say anything publicly, the newspaper reported, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the episode.

Reports suggest Google had a permissive culture when it came to executive conduct and relationships with co-workers. At least one Google employee spoke out further following the report, saying the company’s moves to protect executives makes it harder for victims to report abuse.

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