Google CEO Cancels His Vacation Over Anti-Diversity Memo

August 8, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai canceled his family vacation that he just started over a controversial anti-diversity memo that’s been circulating the firm for the last several days. In a note sent to all of the Alphabet-owned company’s employees, Mr. Pichai explained that he felt it was necessary to cut down on his leisurely time in order to address the outrage sparked by the memo as the latest developments made many of the firm’s employees uncomfortable. While commenting on the contents of the anti-diversity message authored by one Googler that has now been laid off following the ordeal, Google CEO stated that some views pertaining to the specifics of Google’s diversity initiatives are “important topics,” adding how that still doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to suggest some employees don’t have the necessary biological traits to do certain type of work.

Mr. Pichai labeled many of the points raised by the memo as being “offensive,” explicitly stating that such beliefs are in direct violation of Google’s Code of Conduct, which is also the basis on which the author of the memo was terminated. The company’s chief then mimicked the sentiment previously expressed by Google’s recently hired Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Danielle Brown, stating that the Mountain View, California-based tech giant must continue striving to ensure a harassment-free workplace culture that supports diversity and condemns discrimination. Mr. Pichai repeatedly stressed that recent developments aren’t meant to signal that employees cannot question the efficiency of Google’s minority programs but simply that they must do so in a sensible manner, without resorting to arguments that are widely believed to be discriminatory in nature, asking employees “to reach out to those who might have different perspectives” in the immediate future, adding how he will be taking his own advice as well.

The controversy sparked by the memo came at a difficult time for Google that was recently under federal scrutiny over gender pay gap allegations and has put in a lot of effort into fighting those claims. Ms. Brown has only recently started her work as the company’s Chief Diversity Officer but has already signaled that she’ll be putting in maximum effort in order to alleviate the situation.