Google's HR Head Will Step Down After Years Of Company Controversy


Eileen Naughton, the current head of Google HR, now plans to step away from her position with the company according to a recent report from Fortune. The human resources leader will still work for the search giant in some capacity but her future position has not been made public. The search giant indicates that Ms. Naughton is leaving the position in order to be closer to her family.

There's currently no set timeline in place for when Ms. Naughton will formally step down. But she has been with the company for 14 years and has served in human resources over the past four of those.

Before filling in the position at the head of Google's human resources, Ms. Naughton held several leadership roles with the company. Those have been based out of a wide range of divisions, from Google's Mountain View headquarters to London and New York. Among the positions filled, Ms. Naughton has served as vice president of sales and operations in the U.K. and Ireland as well as vice president of global sales. She has also previously served as managing director of media strategy and operations for the Americas.


Controversy and fixes

Eileen Naughton's time as the Head of HR at Google has not been without controversy. The company has faced a number of scandals, particularly over the past two years, and many of those have centered around worker treatment.

The most prominent of Google's scandals center around allegations of and the alleged mishandling of complaints regarding sexual misconduct. In late 2018, the company confirmed that it had fired as many as 48 of its employees over such claims. Those claims stretch back much further, however, with the company reportedly letting some executives go with large payouts as far back as 2014.

The events culminated in worker walkouts which ultimately led to a change of direction internally. Specifically, Ms. Naughton spearheaded alterations to the policy that make it easier to report such misconduct. Part of that meant that Google now has a program that allows victims to bring a support person with them when filing those types of complaints. That individual can remain with them throughout any ensuing investigations.


Further controversy has arisen in the form of deep-seated criticism regarding worker treatment outside of the primary workforce. In response to that, Ms. Naughton led a bid to increase the minimum pay rate for US temp employees and vendors. That was increased to $15 per hour alongside both healthcare benefits and parental leave for non-employees.

Who will be the new HR Head at Google?

In a statement regarding her plans, Ms. Naughton has said that the process of stepping down is still in its earliest stages.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google's Parent company Alphabet, Inc and CFO Ruth Porat will be responsible for finding a replacement to fill the position. They plan that search to take place both within Google's ranks and outside of the company. Ms. Naughton indicates that she will be assisting in that search for a new lead for Google's "people operations team."


She will also serve in the vital role of aiding in the transition once a replacement is found. The search giant has not provided any indication as to whether or not there are any candidates already being considered.