Jan 4, 2019

Scoop: Google's Fong-Jones leaving for startup

Photo: Liz Fong-Jones

Liz Fong-Jones, a longtime Google engineer known for speaking out on a wide range of employee concerns, is leaving the tech giant to work at a startup.

Why it matters: Fong-Jones was early to challenge her employer on a range of issues from sexual harassment to its work on controversial projects.

What's next: Fong-Jones tells Axios that she is headed to be the first developer advocate at Honeycomb.io, a startup that aims to make distributed systems understandable by engineers.

  • She says what draws her to the company, in addition to the match with her expertise, is the leadership roles held by women and its commitment to diversity and corporate ethics.

As for Google, Fong-Jones says she stayed at her former employer because she cared about the company's mission and felt it was her duty as an employee and technologist to speak up when she thought the company was heading down a wrong path.

"If I didn’t care about Google I probably would have silently quit many, many months or years ago."
Liz Fong-Jones

She said that activism can be hard to sustain and she didn't see a way to remain at Google without burning out.

  • But she is glad others remain to push the company in good directions: "People staying behind who continue to work on these issues should be applauded."

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