Alphabet and Google co-founder Larry Page did not ask his company's board of directors for approval before personally approving a $150 million dollar stock grant to disgraced Android executive Andy Rubin, despite the sexual harassment allegations that led to Rubin's ouster. These are the claims in an investor lawsuit, which says the company covered up the sexual misconduct of Rubin and others.
Alphabet Inc. 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 who was under investigation by the company for sexual harassment at the time, according to a lawsuit.
Page later got "rubber stamp" approval for the equity compensation package from a board leadership committee eight days after he granted it, according to a revised investor complaint made public on Monday in California state court in San Jose. Rubin eventually left the company with a $90 million severance agreement.
The new allegations shed light on Page's power to compensate top executives and could add fuel to criticism that the company's board isn't strong enough to keep management accountable to shareholders. It could also pull Page deeper into the controversy around how Google has handled sexual harassment complaints, though it's not clear if he knew about the investigation when he gave Rubin the equity. 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.
"There are serious consequences for anyone who behaves inappropriately at Google," a spokeswoman for Google said in an e-mailed statement. "In recent years, we've made many changes to our workplace and taken an increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority."
Read the full report: Google's Page Allegedly Gave Rubin $150 Million Stock Award