Google CEO, in internal memo, supports employee walkout in the wake of report on sexual misconduct
- Google CEO Sundar Pichai send an internal email condoning an employee protest planned for Thursday in the wake of a New York Times report highlighting the ways the company shielded some employees from accusations of sexual misconduct.
- Pichai says managers would be "aware of the activities planned for Thursday" and that employees would have the "support" they needed.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent an internal email on Tuesday condoning an employee protest planned for Thursday in the wake of a bombshell New York Times' report about sexual misconduct at the company, a source tells CNBC.
Pichai's note, previously obtained by Axios, follows a memo he sent staff last week saying the company had made changes in recent years to take "an increasingly hard line" on inappropriate conduct at work and had fired 48 people, including 13 senior managers, in the last two years, without exit packages.
In his latest memo, Pichai clarifies that the company also had not provided exit packages to employees who resigned while the company was investigating claims of sexual harassment.
The original Times report alleged that Google gave former Android leader Andy Rubin a $90 million exit package despite finding sexual misconduct claims against him credible (Rubin denied misconduct through a spokesperson and on Twitter).
Richard DeVaul, another one of the employees named by the Times' as having exhibited inappropriate behavior, resigned earlier on Tuesday. DeVaul did not deny the Times' allegations, but instead apologized for an "error of judgement."
In light of the Times' reporting on how Google shielded some of its executives, some employees are organizing a walkout for Thursday. Pichai said in his latest note that Google's head of people operations, Eileen Naughton, would make sure that managers "were aware of the activities planned for Thursday" and that employees would have the "support" they needed.
Pichai also said in his memo that he'd heard from many employees, some of whom raised "constructive ideas" to improve Google's processes and policies around sexual misconduct, and that the company would take action on some of them. He also said it was clear that the apology from a previous all-hands meeting wasn't enough, and he reiterated that he was "deeply sorry" that past actions had "caused pain."
Google confirmed the legitimacy of the email.
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