Uber’s SVP of engineering steps down over sexual-harassment allegations at his former job at Google

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Amit Singhal.
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Google

A top Silicon Valley engineer has stepped down from his role at Uber after it was discovered there were sexual-harassment allegations against him at his previous job at Google that he did not disclose when he was hired.

The engineer, Amit Singhal, is leaving Uber after Recode’s Kara Swisher notified the company of the allegations through her reporting. Singhal was senior vice president of engineering at Uber.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick asked Singhal to resign after learning about the allegations, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person also said that Singhal went through the standard background checks before his employment at Uber and that the sexual-harassment allegations during Singhal’s time at Google never came up.

Singhal oversaw Google’s search engine for years and was considered one of the company’s most powerful executives.

According to Swisher’s report, a female employee filed a sexual-harassment complaint against Singhal while they were at Google in 2015. Google later allowed Singhal to leave his job before the company could take further action against him, Swisher reported. Singhal is said to have denied the allegations.

In a statement to Business Insider through a representative, Singhal again denied them.

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

Singhal’s representative said Singhal is not denying that there were allegations, but denying they’re true.

Singhal announced his retirement from Google in February 2016 after nearly 15 years at the company.

“I am eager to see what kind of impact I can make philanthropically, and of course, to spend more time with my family – especially with my wife who I miss spending time with given our incredibly busy lives, and our son who will go to college soon, leaving an empty nest behind,” he wrote at the time.

Singhal’s departure comes after a rough several days for Uber. The company is undergoing an internal investigation led by former Attorney General Eric Holder into allegations of sexual harassment within the company after a bombshell blog post by a former engineer, Susan Fowler, was published. A New York Times article highlighted even more seedy parts of Uber’s culture, alleging drug use and groping. And Waymo, Google’s new name for its self-driving-car company, is suing Uber, accusing one of its employees of stealing key self-driving technology.

Uber declined to comment. Google also declined to comment.