Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he does not regret firing James Damore, the employee who authored a controversial note about alleged gender differences.
“I don’t regret it,” said Pichai in a live interview in San Francisco. Pichai said that the decision on firing Damore was fine as it was all about ensuring safety for women and that women felt Google as the company which is committed in creating a welcoming environment.
“I regret that people misunderstand that we may have made this for a political belief one way or another. It’s important for the women at Google, and all the people at Google, that we want to make an inclusive environment. I don’t regret it. I think it was the right decision,” Pichai said.
Damore, who was fired in August 2017, had filed a lawsuit earlier in January alleging that Google discriminates between male and women employees.
The overall gist of Damore’s memo, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber”, was that Google’s diversity efforts are misplaced, that women can be biologically less suited for engineering and programming jobs in the tech industry, and that Google creates an aggressive environment for conservatives.
Damore said, “At Google, we’re regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership.” The 10-page memo listed several other perceiving of Damore.
Pichai, who made the decision of firing Damore with other top executives of the company, wrote in a statement, “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” and in response to Damore’s lawsuit, Pichai replied, “We look forward to defending against Mr. Damore’s lawsuit in court.”
Pichai, who took over as the CEO on October 24, 2015, started working with Google since 2004. He is also the Board of Member for Alphabet Inc., CapitalG, and Magic Leap.