“One of the most powerful companies in the world is in turmoil today. It’s not about profits. It’s not about the company's product. It’s about sexual harassment and misconduct,” said Varney on Thursday.
Alphabet's board of directors is investigating executives on how they handled misconduct cases.
Google’s Chief Legal Officer David Drummond reportedly had an affair with another former Google lawyer and it supposedly resulted in a child. After which the female lawyer was transferred to another department.
Andy Rubin, who ran Android, was reportedly forced to resign after a sexual encounter with a subordinate. Rubin received $90 million upon his departure.
These were just two examples of misconduct, Varney noted, which resulted in severance packages.
“That’s what has shareholders and employees angry,” he said.
The investigation comes as some Google employees refuse to work on Pentagon contracts.
“Come on... Quit the moral lectures!” said Varney.
On Sunday, McDonald’s fired its CEO Steve Easterbrook for having a consensual relationship with an employee which violated company policy.
“In the case of McDonald’s, the firing, I thought was harsh and the severance package, very limited,” Varney said.
But the bottom line:
“Call it a sign of the times but the office romance is over,” said Varney. “The pendulum has swung from one side to the other. And for the immediate future, the message is clear: No business can allow an executive to have a relationship with another employee.”