Google CEO Sundar Pichai Criticized for His Handling of Gender Controversy

The executive canceled an all-hands meeting and calls for his resignation grow.

August 11, 2017 10:15 am
Sundar Pichai, Google CEO,
Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, speaks during a keynote session at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, March 2, 2015. (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Is Google’s CEO the new Travis Kalanick?

Sundar Pichai, the search engine company’s chief executive, is being scrutinized for his management of the gender controversy at Google. Employees concerns are growing amid tensions surrounding the firing of James Damore.

Pichai canceled a company-wide meeting to discuss gender issues at the last minute Thursday, Recode reports. The CEO cited employee concerns about being targeted for voicing their opinions in the town hall meeting.

Websites, mostly supporters of the so-called “alt-right” movement, began publishing the names of Google employees—a technique known as “doxxing”—that opposed Damore’s memo early in the day. According to Recode, Milo Yiannopoulos posted the bios of eight such employees on his Facebook page.

A memo written by Damore questioning the merits of Google’s diversity efforts was leaked earlier in the week, which led to his termination at the company. Damore subsequently did an interview with alt-right YouTube personality Stefan Molyneux, in which he said he felt he was being “smeared” and “shamed” for highlighting Google’s gender imbalance.

Pichai has been criticized for the way he tried to rationalize the disparity of female engineers at the company, citing biological differences. New York Times columnist David Brooks is calling for his resignation, claiming he lacks the preparation nor the courage to handling such a PR crisis.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.