Following last week’s publication of a report that tied several high-ranking current and former Google executives to incidents of sexual misconduct, the company’s employees have been organizing in protest. Sundar Pichai today voiced support for the upcoming “women’s walk,” while one Googler named by the New York Times has left.
A report yesterday detailed that over 200 Googlers are planning a women’s walk on Thursday to protest the handling of sexual misconduct by upper management. Pichai noted his support for the walkout in an email to employees today (via BuzzFeed), with human resources working to inform managers and provide further support. The CEO also acknowledged employee feedback to policies in recent days and plans to “turn these ideas into action.”
An expose by the NYT last Thursday revealed how rather than just firing executives involved in incidents, Google gave generous exit packages that did not allude to the reason for their departure. Most notably, Andy Rubin received $90 million after multiple incidents of relationships with subordinates, including one particular incident in 2013 that led to his termination.
Larry Page was CEO at the time and apologized for his actions during an all-hands meeting last week, while Sundar Pichai detailed how Google is taking a firmer stance. For example, 48 people were terminated for sexual harassment in the past two years without an exit package.
That no tolerance policy appears to be in effect with the departure of X director Richard DeVaul. He joined Google in 2011 from Apple after an 18 month stint and has a Ph.D. from MIT where he worked on wearable computing. Most recently, he was in charge of rapid evaluation and determining whether projects would advance at the moonshot factory:
Leadership of Google [x] special projects team that generates, evaluates, prototypes, and tests potential moonshots. Responsible for promoting fail-fast culture inside Google [x] and working to find and develop new Google [x] programs.
DeVaul today resigned and was given no exit package, according to a company spokesperson. The New York Times detailed last week how he made unwanted advancements towards a prospective employee:
In 2013, Richard DeVaul, a director at Google X, the company’s research and development arm, interviewed Star Simpson, a hardware engineer. During the job interview, she said he told her that he and his wife were “polyamorous,” a word often used to describe an open marriage. She said he invited her to Burning Man, an annual festival in the Nevada desert, the following week.
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