Fired Engineer Claims Google Is Conducting a Witch Hunt

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 10, 2017

James Damore, the ex-Google software engineer who was terminated by the company on Monday after his internal memo criticizing the tech giant's diversity initiatives went viral and ended up on the Internet, says that the upper management shamed and smeared him, but only after the document was posted online and became a subject of media scrutiny.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees that, while he supports free expression by company workers, James Damore's memo crossed the line of the company's code of conduct "by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace". Google C.E.O. Sundar Pichai called the memo "not O.K." and "offensive" in his own note to staff on Monday, when Damore was sacked. Titled as "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber", the article angered many in Silicon Valley because it relied on certain gender stereotypes.

Leading tech companies, including Google, Facebook and Uber, have said they are trying to improve hiring and working conditions for women. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Mr. Damore said that he's disappointed with the latest turn of events, adding that he "loved Google" long before joining the Mountain View, California-based firm. Susan Wojcicki, the C.E.O. of YouTube, which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet, wrote in an op-ed Wednesday that she "felt pain" because of Damore's memo, and asked whether his argument would make sense were it applied to minority groups or other underrepresented groups in tech. "That's just trying to smear my image rather than actually looking at the evidence". An email sent to an address believed to be used by Damore was not immediately returned; Google declined to comment. He'd appeared on popular alt-right media personality Stefan Molyneux's YouTube channel earlier this week, and had done an interview with another YouTube host popular with the alt-right, Jordan B. Peterson. But Google's response to people who questioned programs that provide additional support to women and minorities, he said, was repressive. "I heard things that I definitely disagreed with in some of our programs". "I'm more of a centrist".

Damore's firing has sparked a furious debate both within and outside Google, with the alt-right reportedly outraged and even calling for a boycott of Google. "I'm very sympathetic to maybe some of the same struggles that especially some of the conservative people at Google face".

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