A New York Times investigation revealing sexual harassment at Google has resulted in a mass walkout protesting brogrammer culture at the search giant.
The Times reported last month that Andy Rubin, who created Android software, was allowed to leave the search company with $90 million in severance, despite a sexual harassment claim against him. According to the Times:
What Google did not make public was that an employee had accused Mr. Rubin of sexual misconduct. The woman, with whom Mr. Rubin had been having an extramarital relationship, said he coerced her into performing oral sex in a hotel room in 2013, according to two company executives with knowledge of the episode. Google investigated and concluded her claim was credible, said the people, who spoke on the condition that they not be named, citing confidentiality agreements. Mr. Rubin was notified, they said, and Mr. Page asked for his resignation.
Google could have fired Mr. Rubin and paid him little to nothing on the way out. Instead, the company handed him a $90 million exit package, paid in installments of about $2 million a month for four years, said two people with knowledge of the terms. The last payment is scheduled for next month.
The Times report led to a massive walkout at Alphabet, Google’s parent company. According to Axios, more than 20,000 employees and contractors at the search company walked out of offices worldwide to protest.
“We have the eyes of many companies looking at us,” Google employee Tanuja Gupta said in New York, according to the event organizers, who have assembled under the name Google Walkout for Real Change. “We’ve always been a vanguard company, so if we don’t lead the way, nobody else will.” According to the organizers, Google employees participated primarily from the company’s US offices, but also in I offices located in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Philippines, the UK, Singapore, Sweden, and Switzerland.