The Daily Telegraph
Google executive fired for drunken pass at female colleagues
A FORMER Google executive who claimed he was fired for whistleblowing was instead sacked for making inappropriate sexual comments towards younger female colleagues when drunk, a tribunal has heard.
Robin Frewer sued Google for unfair dismissal in June after he lost his job following accusations of sexual harassment. He claimed he had been dismissed for making allegations of anti-competitive behaviour at Google, which the company denied.
The employment tribunal heard that the commercial director was sacked after he drunkenly invited two junior female employees to his hotel room to “blindfold them” during a trip to Milan.
Mr Frewer, thought to be in his 50s, had been drinking over dinner when he made sexually inappropriate comments to the younger women on his team.
He asked one to tell him “nice and slow” about the “naughtiest thing she had ever done”, joked about hiring an escort and made a “concerning” remark about waiting for another to “make sure she got home OK”. Mr Frewer, who worked at Google for 13 years, claimed he had an “old-fashioned sense of humour” and insisted his comments were “humorous rather than sexual”.
He alleged he was fired because he had spoken out about bad practice at Google, accusing it of rigging its search engine to benefit favoured clients.
He added that he had been under “huge financial pressure” and alcohol had affected him more than usual owing to medication he takes for depression.
Mr Frewer was taken to a disciplinary hearing in May 2020 and sacked the following month.
At the tribunal he alleged that his accusations against Google and mental ill health meant bosses had wanted him gone. But employment judge Andrew Glennie dismissed his claims of whistleblowing detriments, disability discrimination, and unfair dismissal.
He said: “Mr Frewer’s partial acceptance of the allegations, his somewhat enigmatic denial of the other aspects, the suggestion that others at the table may have been drunk, and his assertion that he had not done anything wrong, all led the tribunal to doubt his account of events.”