Google has announced that it has fired 48 employees for sexual harassment during the past two years and sent them away without severance packages, hours after a news report said it had protected some male executives facing sexual misconduct allegations and offered them large sums to leave the company.
The surprise disclosure Thursday came in an email to Google employees from CEO Sundar Pichai. It was a direct response to a New York Times report that the company had dismissed the executive in charge of its Android software for sexual misconduct in 2014 and paid him handsomely to leave.
A spokesperson for Andy Rubin, the former Android executive, said he left of his own accord and has never been informed of any accusations of sexual misconduct.
Rubin acknowledges having consensual sexual relationships with Google employees who didn’t report to him, adhering to the boundaries drawn by Google policy at that time, according to the spokesperson, Sam Singer.