Jan 11, 2019

Alphabet shareholder sues over sexual misconduct of executives

Google employees walk off the job to protest the company's handling of sexual misconduct claims in Mountain View, Calif. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

An Alphabet shareholder has sued the company's leadership over its approval of multi-million dollar exit packages for executives who'd been credibly accused of sexual misconduct.

Big picture: An October report by the New York Times detailed a history of covering up sexual harassment at Alphabet, Google's parent company, including the board's approval of an exit package worth $90 million for Android co-founder Andy Rubin after credible allegations that he had coerced an employee into a sexual act.

  • In addition to Rubin, the lawsuit cites other instances, such as the company's approval of a multi-million dollar exit package for former executive Amit Singhal in 2016 despite finding credible accusations against him of sexual harassment.
  • Alphabet chief legal officer David Drummond also reportedly earned $190 million in stock options and stock awards by the company since 2011 — after he had an extra-marital affair with an employee in his department who later charged that she was pushed out.

The revelations prompted a group of employees to organize a large employee walkout in November and press management for a number of changes, some of which the company agreed to.

The company has not returned a request for comment.

Go deeper: Google memo outcry is about something bigger

The full lawsuit:

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George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla. seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.

4 takeaways from the Nevada Democratic debate

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The relative civility of the last eight Democratic debates was thrown by the wayside Wednesday night, the first debate to feature the billionaire "boogeyman," Michael Bloomberg, whose massive advertising buys and polling surge have drawn the ire of the entire field.

The big picture: Pete Buttigieg captured the state of the race early on, noting that after Super Tuesday, the "two most polarizing figures on this stage" — Bloomberg and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — could be the only ones left competing for the nomination. The rest of candidates fought to stop that momentum.

Klobuchar squares off with Buttigieg on immigration

Buttigieg and Klobuchar in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage Wednesday for voting to confirm Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and voting in 2007 to make English the national language.

What she's saying: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete, but let me tell you what it's like to be in the arena. ... I did not one bit agree with these draconian policies to separate kids from their parents, and in my first 100 days, I would immediately change that."