Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has announced that it has reached a settlement worth USD 310 million in a shareholder lawsuit. The company had pledged the amount to expand corporate diversity efforts and shareholder litigation. The litigation alleged executives of sexual misconduct by executives and said that the board failed to prevent it. The tech behemoth made the announcement in a blog post. The company said that the move will bar people who are fired because of misconduct from receiving severance packages. The same will apply to those who are facing allegations of sexual misconduct. The company will form a team that will be responsible to start inquiries into claims leveled against executives of the company.
The tech giant will also give its executives the option to arbitrate their claims. The settlement caps a controversy that reverberated across Silicon Valley and shook Google. The lawsuit was about USD 90 million exit package given to executive Andy Rubin. Rubin was the creator of the Android mobile operating system and faced sexual investigation during the time of the exit. Thousands of Google’s employees walked out to protest against the decision. This had prompted the tech giant to change several of its workplace policies. A group of shareholders had sued the company. The lawsuit alleged that then Chief Executive Larry Page and the board knew about the allegations against the executive when the exit package was approved.
Google’s vice president of People Operations Eileen Naughton said that the company has been taking some tough stand on inappropriate conduct in the past few years. “We are doing everything to provide the best possible support to those who report it. We have been working hard of late to set and uphold higher standards for the company,” Naughton said. An attorney, who represented the shareholders, has termed the settlement landmark. The law firm of the attorney Louise Renne described it as the most holistic and largest settlement in shareholder case since 2017.