Rich DeVaul was one of three Google executives who were the focus of a New York Times story examining the company’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations. He reportedly made unwanted sexual advances on a job applicant, whom he had invited to join him at Burning Man, an annual festival in the Nevada desert.
Google employees reacted with anger to the Times report that the company paid millions of dollars in exit packages to make executives accused of misconduct keep mum about what had transpired. In the case of Andy Rubin, the father of the Android mobile operating system, the company handed him a $90 million payout after finding allegations of misconduct credible.
Employees are planning to stage a walkout Thursday in a protest expected to draw as many as 1,000 people. Some turned to social media to publicly voice their objections.
Some Google employees drew connections between Google’s handling of harassment claims and a Department of Labor finding last year that the company discriminated against female employees, discovering evidence of “systematic compensation disparities.”
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has been struggling to handle the fallout from the revelations.
“As CEO, it’s been personally important to me that we take a much harder line on inappropriate behavior,” Pichai wrote to staff Tuesday in an email that was obtained by The Times. “We have taken many steps to do so, and know our work is still not done.”