Connect with us

Attorneys in San Francisco representing an Alphabet shareholder are suing the board of directors for allegedly covering up sexual misconduct claims against top executives.

The suit comes months after an explosive New York Times report detailed how Google shielded executives accused of sexual misconduct, either by keeping them on staff or allowing them amicable departures. For example, Google reportedly paid Android leader Andy Rubin a $90 million exit package, despite asking for his resignation after finding sexual misconduct claims against him credible. Similarly, Amit Singhal, was allowed to quietly resign after sexual misconduct claims were made against him, too.

The original report spurred a massive protest during which thousands of Google employees walked out of offices around the world. In response, the company ended its forced arbitration policy for sexual misconduct allegations and said it would start providing more transparency around sexual harassment investigations.

The new lawsuit, filed in California’s San Mateo County, asserts claims for breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, unjust enrichment, and waste of corporate assets. The attorneys say the lawsuit is the result of “an extensive original investigation into non-public evidence” and produced copies of internal Google minutes from Board of Directors meetings.

“The Directors’ wrongful conduct allowed the illegal conduct to proliferate and continue,” the suit reads. “As such, members of Alphabet’s Board were knowing and direct enablers of the sexual harassment and discrimination.”

The suit also accuses board members of employing contradictory standards:

“If you were a high‐level male executive at Google responsible for generating millions of dollars in revenue, Google would let you engage in sexual harassment. And if you get caught, Google would keep it quiet, let you resign, and pay you millions of dollars in severance,” the suit reads. “On the other hand, if you were a low‐level employee at Google and were accused of sexual harassment or discrimination, you would be fired for cause with no severance benefits. In this way, Alphabet and the Board were able to maintain optics and superficial compliance with its code of conduct, internal rules, and laws regarding sexual harassment. By appearing to take decisive action against a significant number of low‐level employees, and by concealing the blatant and widespread sexual harassment by senior Google executives, the Board avoided a much bigger scandal.”

In late October, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees that Google had fired 48 employees for sexual misconduct over the past two years.

The shareholder plaintiff, James Martin, has held Alphabet stock since October 2009.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

You can read the suit in full here:

Source link

World

Iranian fast-boats stopped tug boat salvage mission

Published

on

WASHINGTON — In the wake of an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Iranian military fast-boats prevented privately owned tug boats from salvaging one of the damaged vessels, two U.S. officials aware of the situation told CNBC.

The latest conflict from the world’s most important oil choke point brought oil prices up about 1% on Friday and as much as 4% the day prior on renewed fears of conflict in the Middle East leading to global oil supply disruptions.

America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, blamed Iran for Thursday’s attacks without citing specific evidence as to why Tehran was responsible.

“Iran is lashing out because the regime wants our successful maximum pressure campaign lifted,” Pompeo said Thursday. “No economic sanctions entitle the Islamic Republic to attack innocent civilians, disrupt global oil markets and engage in nuclear blackmail.”

Iranian Revolutionary Guards drive speedboats in front of an oil tanker at the port of Bandar Abbas 

Atta Kenare | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump said Friday that if Iran were to block the Strait of Hormuz, “it’s not going to be closed for long,” but did not elaborate on what potential steps the U.S. would take in response. “They’re not going to be closing [the strait],” Trump reiterated during a telephone interview with Fox News.

Earlier this year, Iran threatened to close the strait in response to a U.S. decision to end waivers on reimposed sanctions for companies that export oil from Iran. The Strait of Hormuz is a gateway for almost a third of all seaborne crude oil.

In an exclusive interview with CNBC on Friday, Trump’s energy secretary called Iran the “bad neighbor in the neighborhood.”

“Iran should be thinking about how do we maintain our market share, how do we act like good neighbors, how do we continue to be a part of the global community instead of these obvious acts of treachery in the Strait of Hormuz,” Energy Secretary Rick Perry said.

At the Pentagon, acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan called the matter an “international problem,” adding that his role would be to “set the conditions for diplomacy.” He added that he was in close coordination with U.S. Central Command to verify whether forces in the region had necessary resources and support for their missions.

In a statement Friday, the board of directors for Frontline Ltd. said that all 23 crew members of the Front Altair oil tanker were unharmed and that the cause of the explosion is unknown. “The incident will be thoroughly investigated by the Company along with third parties, including governmental officials, to determine the cause,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Japanese owner of one of the oil tankers said the vessel was damaged by a projectile, not by a mine, which is what U.S. officials assessed as the source of the blast.

“We received reports that something flew towards the ship,” Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo, said at a press conference Friday. “I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship,” he said, adding that a projectile landed above the waterline.

On Thursday, U.S. Central Command said in a statement that the Japanese oil tanker, Kokuka Courageous, had an “unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.”

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Source link

Continue Reading

World

Vulcan selling Stratolaunch world’s largest airplane for $400 million

Published

on

Stratolaunch, the world’s largest airplane, lands at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California after its first successful flight on April 13, 2019.

Stratolaunch

Stratolaunch, the world’s largest airplane that flew only once, is up for sale.

Holding company Vulcan is seeking to sell Stratolaunch at $400 million, people familiar with the matter told CNBC. Vulcan is the investment conglomerate of the late billionaire Paul Allen. A Microsoft co-founder, Allen passed away last October following complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Vulcan and Stratolaunch did not respond to multiple CNBC requests for comment. The hefty price tag includes ownership of the airplane as well as the intellectual property and facilities.

Allen’s vision of a massive flying airplane to launch rockets from the sky was at least partially fulfilled in April, when Stratolaunch flew for the first time after about eight years in development. Based in the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, the giant airplane flew for more than two hours before landing after what was deemed a successful first flight. Stratolaunch is the world’s largest airplane by wingspan, which stretches 385 feet – longer than an American football field. The airplane is powered by six jet engines salvaged from Boeing 747 aircraft.

Stratolaunch, the world’s largest airplane, lands at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California after its first successful flight on April 13, 2019.

Stratolaunch

The company has had various partnerships, as well as internal plans, for the rockets that Stratolaunch will carry. SpaceX was one of the company’s earliest partners but Stratolaunch later switched to a contract with Northrop Grumman-owned Orbital ATK to fly the Pegeasus XL rocket. Stratolaunch’s plan to develop its own fleet of rockets was scrapped in January.

Stratolaunch has been steadily downsizing this year, with much of the workforce laid off already, despite plans to launch a small Northrop rocket in 2020. The company is in the process of closing operations, Reuters reported last month.

One item holding up internal the sale of Stratolaunch, according to one of the people, is an internal disagreement between the company’s CEO Jean Floyd and Allen’s sister Jody, who serves as the chair of Vulcan as well as the executor of his estates. While Floyd appears to be petitioning that Vulcan keep the Stratolaunch program alive, especially by retaining the company’s intellectual property, Jody Allen would like to sell the company outright, the person said.

Branson expressing interest

There are number of possible suitors for Stratolaunch, especially the most active space industry trio of billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson.

While its unknown if either Musk’s SpaceX or Bezos’ Blue Origin are pursuing a purchase of Stratolaunch, people familiar told CNBC that the company has spoken to Branson about selling to his Virgin Group. Branson’s conglomerate owns three space companies: Virgin Galactic, The SpaceShip Company and Virgin Orbit. As the former two were built using similar technology to Stratolaunch – all three have a similar manufacturing heritage, as they all originated from designs prototype aerospace manufacturer Scaled Composites – Virgin may be an ideal destination for Stratolaunch.

For the first time ever, the Stratolaunch aircraft moved out of the hangar to conduct aircraft fueling tests.

But Branson was hesitant to pay full price for Stratolaunch, a person familiar said. Instead, the person said Branson countered Vulcan’s offer in a similar way to his low-ball offer for the supersonic Concorde fleet in 2003 (British Airways was planning to retire the airplane and Branson offered the airline $8.30 to take the planes off their hands and continue flying the Concordes for Virgin Atlantic).

Branson pitched Vulcan that he would buy Stratolaunch… for $1.

Source link

Continue Reading

World

Oil tanker owner disagrees with US that mine caused blast near Iran

Published

on

An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman, June 13, 2019.

ISNA | Reuters

WASHINGTON – The Japanese owner of one of the oil tankers attacked near Iran on Thursday said that the vessel was struck by a projectile and not by a mine, which is what U.S. officials assessed as the source of the blast.

“We received reports that something flew towards the ship,” Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo said at a press conference Friday. “I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship,” he said, adding that a projectile landed above the waterline.

On Thursday, U.S. Central Command said in a statement that the Japanese oil tanker Kokuka Courageous had an “unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.”

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

President Donald Trump said Friday that if Iran were to block the Strait of Hormuz, “it’s not going to be closed for long,” but did not elaborate on what potential steps the U.S. would take in response. “They’re not going to be closing [the strait],” Trump reiterated during a telephone interview on “Fox & Friends.”

Earlier this year, Iran threatened to close the strait in response to a U.S. decision to end waivers on reimposed sanctions for companies that export oil from Iran. The Strait of Hormuz is the world’s most important oil choke point. It’s a gateway for almost a third of all seaborne crude oil.

America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, blamed Iran for Thursday’s attacks without citing specific evidence as to why Tehran was responsible.

“Iran is lashing out because the regime wants our successful maximum pressure campaign lifted,” Pompeo said Thursday. “No economic sanctions entitle the Islamic Republic to attack innocent civilians, disrupt global oil markets and engage in nuclear blackmail.”

“The international community condemns Iran’s assault on the freedom of navigation and the targeting of innocent civilians,” he said, adding that the U.S. will defend its forces, interests and partners.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending