Alphabet Chief Executive Officer Larry Page didn’t get board approval when he awarded a $150 million stock grant to Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android mobile software, while the company helped to cover up his alleged misconduct, according to a lawsuit.
Page later got “rubber stamp” for the equity compensation package from a board leadership committee eight days after granting the payout to Rubin, who also got a $90 million severance package, according to a revised investor complaint made public on Monday in California state court in San Jose. The suit was originally filed in January, but some claims were blocked from public view at the time.
The new allegations pull Page deeper into the controversy around how Google has handled sexual harassment complaints. The Alphabet co-founder has generally stayed behind the scenes, while Google CEO Sundar Pichai has been left to deal with criticism of the company’s culture.
Investors claim the board failed in its duties by allowing harassment to occur, approving big payouts, and keeping the details private. The complaint targets the company’s top executives and committee members, including co-founder Sergey Brin, venture capitalist John Doerr, investor Ram Shriram, and Alphabet Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, among others.
“It’s confirmation of the fact that there were these large payouts” to Google executives and that the company’s “own internal investigation had shown there was misconduct and harassment,” Louise Renne, a lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, said Monday by phone.
“Nonetheless, rather than being just being terminated, they were terminated with hefty reimbursement and gifts,” Renne said.
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