Alphabet board probes company's handling of sexual misconduct allegations

Alphabet shareholders are awaiting the results of the internal investigation as they decide how to proceed with the case.

The board of Google parent company Alphabet Inc is investigating executives' handling of sexual harassment and other misconduct claims, and expects to complete its probe by early December, according to a recent court filing.

CNBC first reported the investigation on Wednesday, citing unspecified materials that added that the board had retained an unnamed law firm to assist with the investigation.

Alphabet's board formed a special litigation committee this spring after shareholders filed a lawsuit alleging that company directors played direct roles in covering up sexual misconduct by top executives, according to a filing in the lawsuit from last month. The committee is working with law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore, the filing said.

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It is unclear whether Cravath or the special litigation committee have interviewed any alleged victims, witnesses or accused executives, some of whom are no longer at Alphabet.

(Also read: Google updated its misconduct reporting policy and made it easier for employees)

Alphabet spokeswoman Heather Dickinson did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

The board investigation includes looking into the behaviour of Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, who has been accused of having relationships with employees, CNBC said.

(Also read: Sundar Pichai says Google fired 48 employees over two years for sexual misconduct)

Drummond has acknowledged some mistakes with a relationship he had with a colleague, but said he has not started a relationship with any co-workers since then.

(Also read: Google paid former exec Amit Singhal $35 million to resign after harassment claims)

The shareholders who sued Alphabet leadership are awaiting the results of the internal investigation as they decide how to proceed with the case. They have called for various governance reforms at the company, including reducing executives' voting control and adding more independent directors.

(Also read: Reports of Andy Rubin's 'inappropriate' behaviour while at Google go public; cited as the reason for his leave of absence at Essential)


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