google logo
Google fired 48 people for sexual harassment in the past two years. This photo taken on Aug. 23, 2018 shows the Google logo on display at the Smart China Expo at Chongqing International Expo Center in southwest China's Chongqing. STR/AFP/Getty Images

On Thursday, Google was hit with the accusation that it had protected Android creator Andy Rubin from sexual misconduct claims and paid him $90 million to leave the company in 2014. In response, Google CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged the company’s sexual harassment problem, admitting that the company had fired 48 employees in the past two years for it.

Pichai gave out those figures in an email to employees, which was obtained by CNBC and published in full. The CEO called the original New York Times report about Rubin “difficult to read” and said Google is “dead serious” about making its employees feel safe.

In all, 48 Google employees have been fired for sexual harassment in two years with 13 of them being “senior managers or above.” He emphasized that Google now has anonymous channels to report inappropriate workplace behavior, as reporting can be difficult or traumatic for victims.

Rubin maintained his innocence in a series of two tweets on Thursday. He called the accusations a “smear campaign.”

Accusations of sexist workplace cultures at major tech firms are nothing new, but giving out specific termination figures is not necessarily the standard. Spotify was sued by a former executive in September for an alleged “boys club” culture at the music streaming service.

One of the most infamous examples is Uber. The ride-sharing firm was embroiled in controversy in 2017 after a former engineer accused the company of widespread sexism in a blog post. The company’s senior vice president of engineering had to leave Uber after it turned out he had been accused of sexual misconduct at a previous job at Google.

That all led to founder and CEO Travis Kalanick departing the company.