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Shareholder Lawsuit Targets Alphabet Board of Directors for Handling of Harassment Case

A new shareholder lawsuit against Alphabet’s board of directors accuses the group of helping to cover up sexual harassment claims against Android founder Andy Rubin and former head of search Amit Singhal. The suit alleges the board knew that the accusations were credible, citing an internal investigation, minutes from board meetings and explicit content found on Mr. Rubin’s computer, but let the two executives resign quietly anyway, in addition to giving Mr. Rubin a $90 million severance package.

Most of the details about allegations against Mr. Rubin have been disclosed previously in reporting by The Information and The New York Times. The suit, among other things, asks Google to end nondisclosure and arbitration agreements, something the company has already agreed to. Google said it would change its policies in this area after more than 20,000 employees walked out last fall over the same issue.

The lawsuit is the first to take aim at Alphabet’s board over the handling of harassment charges. Its outcome could be a wakeup call for boards at other companies as they consider similar allegations against executives.  

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