Ads Criticizing Google CEO’s Diversity Stances Appear In LA

August 11, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Posters criticizing Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai and his diversity stances, as well as the company’s Code of Conduct which led to the Monday firing of James Damore, started appearing in Venice, Los Angeles, a block away from Google’s local offices. The ads plastered on local benches and bus stops were first spotted on Friday morning and while they don’t specifically mention the currently ongoing controversy related to the Alphabet-owned company’s diversity practices that Mr. Damore criticized, their messages clearly imply that. One ad compares late Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs with Mr. Pichai, clearly stating that the latter isn’t as open-minded as the former and that Mr. Jobs would perhaps even consider hiring the former Google engineer based on his stances.

In a similar comparison between Apple and Google, the act of “thinking differently” is presented as being grounds for termination at the Internet search giant and basis for hiring at the Cupertino, California-based company, which is another clear hint at the controversy surrounding Mr. Damore and his polarizing memo that argued biological differences between men and women may explain the differences in their representation in the tech industry. That stance, together with the claim that women are biologically less suitable for software engineering, was labeled as highly discriminatory by the majority of Google’s employees and resulted in Mr. Damore’s termination, consequently prompting some right-wing figures and entities in the country to label Google as being discriminatory toward conservatives.

Another ad seen in Venice depicts a modified version of Google’s logo that reads “Goolag,” thus drawing a parallel with Soviet forced labor camps gulags which were operational during Joseph Stalin’s administration in the first half of the 20th century. The same logo was recently worn on a shirt by Mr. Damore who was photographed by Peter Duke, a photographer known for working with minor conservative personalities in the United States. The ads likely constitute an infringement of both Google and Apple’s intellectual properties seeing how neither company was involved with their creator or creators who remain unknown as of this writing. Likewise, it’s currently unclear whether the ads were paid for by some individual or entity or if they’re covering city property illegally.