Uber exec out over sex charge at former employer Google

Jessica Guynn
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SAN FRANCISCO — Former Google executive Amit Singhal has left his new job at Uber for not disclosing an allegation of sexual harassment at his former employer, a charge he denies.

Uber executives were made aware of the allegation this week by tech news outlet Recode, which said an investigation at Google had found the charges "credible."

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick asked Singhal to resign Monday because Singhal did not disclose the investigation, a person familiar with the details of Singhal's departure told USA TODAY. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about it.

In a statement provided to USA TODAY, Singhal denied the allegation of sexual harassment.

“Harassment is unacceptable in any setting. I certainly want everyone to know that I do not condone and have not committed such behavior,” Singhal said in a statement provided by a public relations firm. “In my 20-year career, I’ve never been accused of anything like this before and the decision to leave Google was my own.”

Uber declined to comment. Google also declined to comment.

The departure comes as Uber wrestles with charges of discriminatory and sexist behavior at the ride-hailing company.

After a former Uber engineer published a blog post that alleged harassment that went ignored by Uber human relations and management, Singhal tweeted: "I am heartbroken to read Susan's post, this is not the Uber I know. Will investigate to the fullest."

Google search veteran now hails from Uber

Singhal, a highly respected engineer in Silicon Valley, announced he had joined Uber in January.

Employee no. 176, Singhal worked for 15 years at Google where he was the Internet giant's head search honcho. He left Google last year. At Uber, he was tapped to lead the maps and marketplace departments as well as advise Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and vice president of engineering and Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski on self-driving technology.

Uber slams Waymo suit as 'baseless'

Singhal's departure is unrelated to a lawsuit filed last week by Google parent company Alphabet's self-driving car company Waymo against Uber.

In that case, Waymo leveled explosive charges against Uber-owned Otto, a self-driving truck company started a year ago by former Google car veteran Levandowski. The suit claims that Levandowski stole critical technology related to Waymo's LiDAR sensors shortly before leaving the company in order to start Otto. Last August, Uber bought Otto for $670 million. Uber has called the charges "baseless."

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