Google CEO Sundar Pichai canceled a previously-scheduled meeting to discuss gender issues yesterday, following the release of a highly controversial memo leaked online this weekend, and the subsequent firing of the engineer who wrote it. The memo has drawn both criticism and support from people inside and outside the tech industry.
Here are the varying reactions to the memo:
- David Brooks called for Pichai's removal: "Either Pichai is unprepared to understand the research (unlikely), is not capable of handling complex data flows (a bad trait in a C.E.O.) or was simply too afraid to stand up to a mob."
- Ben Shapiro wrote that polarization of corporate culture "will one day lead to completely parallel worlds for Left and Right that will exacerbate differences to the point of open conflict."
- Julian Assange offered James Damore a job at WikiLeaks via Twitter.
- Per a Motherboard report, Google employees expressed support for Damore in an anonymous company-specific chatroom specifically for tech employees.
- Owen Jones, columnist for The Guardian, wrote: "The manifesto tells us what we already knew: that a subsection of white men feel threatened and insecure."
- Sabrina Parsons, Palo Alto Software CEO, called for women to "rise up and...make it known that we will not be marginalized."
- Yonatan Zunger, a former senior Googler, wrote in a Medium post: "All of these traits which the manifesto described as "female" are the core traits which make someone successful at engineering."
- YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote in Fortune that while people have the right to freely express themselves, companies can still take action "when women are subjected to comments that perpetuate negative stereotypes about them based on their gender."