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Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Google has removed senior executive Kamau Bobb from his role as global lead of diversity strategy and research after his antisemitic remarks from a 2007 blog post resurfaced this week.

Why it matters: It marks the "second time in a month that a big tech company has been forced to make a staffing change in the wake of public outcry over an executive’s previous writing," Wall Street Journal writes.

  • In the blog post, Bobb had written that if he were a Jew, he would "be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself," according to WSJ.

Thought bubble via Axios' Ashley Gold: Big companies continue to grapple with how to deal with their employees' past online writings, and the tolerance for past indiscretions will probably only get lower.

What they're saying: "We unequivocally condemn the past writings by a member of our diversity team that are causing deep offense and pain to members of our Jewish community and our LGBTQ+ community," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "These writings are unquestionably hurtful."

  • The spokesperson said Bobb had apologized for the comments and noted that [t]his has come at at a time where we’ve seen an alarming increase in antisemitic attacks."
  • "Antisemitism is a vile prejudice that has given rise to unfathomable acts. It has no place in society and we stand with our Jewish community in condemning it," the spokesperson added.

In an email sent to a group of Jewish Google employees this week, Bobb apologized for his "hurtful" views and said he had been trying to critique military action, per a copy obtained by WSJ.

  • "None of this changes or excuses the words i [sic] wrote," he said.

The big picture: Apple fired a prominent advertising executive in May after employees raised complaints about his sexist and misogynistic language in the memoir he wrote about his time at Facebook.

Go deeper

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations are "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more power outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 3 hours ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.

3 hours ago - World

North Korea launches 4th suspected missile test this month

A news broadcast in Seoul, South Korea, of an apparent North Korean missile test on Monday morning local time. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea's military fired "two suspected short-range ballistic missiles" eastward from Pyongyang on Monday morning local time, per South Korean and Japanese officials.

Why it matters: The fourth such launch since Jan. 5 comes days after North Korea's military warned of "stronger" action if the U.S. moved to have more sanctions imposed on the country.

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