Google exec accused of sexual harassment leaves company

rich-devaul

Rich DeVaul has left Google X after a report that he propositioned a female job applicant but was allowed to keep his job after an internal investigation.


Rich DeVaul (via Twitter)


Rich DeVaul, a director at Alphabet’s Google X, the search giant’s research division, has left the company after being accused of sexual harassment.


DeVaul left the company earlier Tuesday without an exit package, a source close to the company said, confirming an earlier Axios report. DeVaul’s departure comes a week after the New York Times reported that Google paid Android creator Andy Rubin $90 million and asked for his resignation following a sexual misconduct accusation.


DeVaul’s departure comes during a period of prominent figures in industries ranging from politics to entertainment being toppled by revelations of sexual harassment or sexual assault. In the tech industry, companies like Uber have wrestled with accounts of work environments fraught with varying degrees of sexual harassment. High-profile venture capitalists like Chris Sacca and Dave McClure have been unseated, as well, over sexual harassment allegations.


DeVaul was mentioned prominently in the Times’ report about Rubin’s exit package. DeVaul propositioned a female hardware engineer during a 2013 job interview, according to the Times report. The company reportedly investigated the matter after the applicant complained and said it had taken “appropriate action,” although DeVaul remained with the company.


In a statement to the Times, DeVaul apologized for an “error of judgment.”


The scandal appears to have lead Google CEO Sundar Pichai to issue an apology for company’s handling of past sexual harassment cases, telling employees Tuesday that the company didn’t go far enough and promising to take a “much harder line” in the future. He also promised to support Google employees planning to walk off the job Thursday in protest of the company’s handling of sexual misconduct cases.


“I am deeply sorry for the past actions and the pain they have caused employees,” Pichai said in an e-mail obtained by Axios​. “Larry mentioned this on stage last week, but it bears repeating: if even one person experiences Google the way the New York Times article described, we are not the company we aspire to be.”


DeVaul couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.


Originally posted at 5:39 p.m. PT
Updated at 7:40 p.m. PT with Sundar Pichai’s email to employees.


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