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Rediff.com  » Business » Uber lets go of senior VP over sexual harassment plaint at Google

Uber lets go of senior VP over sexual harassment plaint at Google

February 28, 2017 13:56 IST

An India-born top executive at Uber was asked to resign after the ride-sharing titan found that he did not disclose that he had left his previous job at Google after a sexual harassment complaint, a media report said.

Image used for representational purpose only. Photograph: Kind courtesy Uber/Instagram.

Amit Singhal had joined Uber in January as senior vice president of engineering after working for 15 years at Google, where he oversaw the internet giant's search efforts.

A report in technology news website Recode said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick asked Singhal to resign on Monday after it was found that Singhal did not disclose to the car-hailing company that he had left Google a year earlier after an allegation against him of sexual harassment from an employee.

Google had deemed the employee's claim of sexual harassment against Singhal "credible" in an internal investigation.

The report said Singhal, "a highly regarded engineer in Silicon Valley", had disputed the allegation to Google executives at the time and denied the allegations again.

"Harassment is unacceptable in any setting. I certainly want everyone to know that I do not condone and have not committed such behaviour," he said in an email to Recode.

"In my 20-year career, I have never been accused of anything like this before and the decision to leave Google was my own," he said.

Uber executives reportedly found about the situation after the report informed them of the chain of events between Singhal and the search giant this week.

Sources at Uber said the company had done extensive background checks of Singhal but had not uncovered any hint of the circumstances of his departure from Google.

Singhal's departure comes at a time when Uber is facing intense scrutiny following allegations of sexual harassment by a former female employee against her manager.

She said in a blog post last week that her manager had sent inappropriate messages to her and that the company's human resource department and upper management were not supportive when she had reported the situation to them.

Sources said that Google was prepared to fire Singhal over the allegations after looking into the incident, but did not have to do so after he resigned, according to the report.

The female employee who filed the formal complaint against Singhal did not work for him directly, but worked closely with the search team, the report said, adding that she also did not want to go public with the charges, which is apparently why Google decided to allow Singhal to leave quietly.

Singhal's goodbye letter before leaving Google gave no hint of any acrimony between himself and his long-time employer. 

Yoshita Singh
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