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Google CEO says apology for harassment ‘wasn’t enough’, more will be done

Amidst the recent news that Google had terminated 48 former employees in the last two years, Google CEO Sundar Pichai (pictured) has reportedly said that the apology by the organisation “ didn’t come through and wasn’t enough” in a memo to staff sent last Friday.

In the memo obtained by media and digital publication Axios, Pichai had reportedly said that Google has “more work to be done”. He added that he understands the “anger and disappointment that many [employees] feel” and is “fully committed to making progress”.

Several media outlets previously reported that Google also paid Andy Rubin, the creator of Android mobile software, a US$90 million exit package after terminating his employment in the wake of a sexual misconduct investigation. However, Pichai explained in the memo that there was no such exit packages provided for those who “departed voluntarily” in the course of a sexual harassment investigation.

Meanwhile, approximately 200 Google employees are planning to protest the event through a walkout unveiled so far around sexual harassment. Pichai added that Eileen Naughton, VP People Operations will inform the human resource managers of the walkout as the organisation looks to provide support to those participating in the walkout.

In a statement to A+M, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google said, “Yesterday, we let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for Thursday and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate. Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action.”

Last week, A+M ran news on Pichai assuring staff of safe workplace. This came on the back of a memo that came in response to a New York Times report, which also wrote about the US$90 million exit package for Andy Rubin. The same report explained that the package was paid in installments of US$2 million a month for four years, with the last payment being scheduled for next month, while pointing out Google’s silence over Rubin’s exit.

Following the news, Pichai acknowledging that the story in the New York Times was “difficult to read” and added that Google is “dead serious about making sure [it] provides a safe and inclusive workplace”.

“We want to assure you that we review every single complaint about sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, we investigate and we take action,” he added.

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