Alphabet board investigating how it handles sexual misconduct claims against executives

Alphabet’s board of directors is investigating how executives have dealt with allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, including those leveled against the company’s top lawyer.

The Google parent has hired a law firm and formed a special subcommittee to investigate these issues, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak on the record. Alphabet is facing lawsuits alleging it failed shareholders by approving lucrative exit packages for executives despite credible claims of misconduct.

‘‘As has already been confirmed in public court filings, in early 2019, Alphabet’s Board of Directors formed a special litigation committee to consider claims made by shareholders in various lawsuits relating to past workplace conduct,” Alphabet said in a statement to The Post.


Allegations that Alphabet suppressed claims of misconduct prompted walkouts worldwide last year by more than 20,000 Google employees. They blasted the company’s ‘‘culture of complicity, dismissiveness, and support for perpetrators’’ following a New York Times report that it sent Android creator Andy Rubin off with a $90 million exit package in 2014 after — and without disclosing that — credible allegations of sexual misconduct had emerged. Rubin denied the report.

After the walkouts, Google CEO Sundar Pichai notified employees that 48 people had been fired over sexual harassment or misconduct allegations, including 13 senior managers. “None of these individuals received an exit package,” he wrote. Weeks later, Google said it would make changes requested by employees, including putting an end to forced arbitration and increasing its transparency on reported incidents.