Google surprised many of its workers Thursday after the company suddenly canceled a town-hall meeting in the wake of the firing of a worker who had written the controversial leaked memo on diversity.
In an email to employees, CEO Sundar Picahi said some workers had expressed concerns they would be "outed" for their questions about the company and the firing, The Wall Street Journal reported. The names of some workers who posed questions in an internal online forum reportedly leaked on multiple right-leaning websites and social media.
The fired engineer, James Damore, wrote a memo criticizing Google for pushing mentoring and diversity programs and for "alienating conservatives." The parts that drew much of the outrage made such assertions as women "prefer jobs in social and artistic areas" and have a "lower stress tolerance" and "harder time" leading, while more men "may like coding because it requires systemizing."
Google's code of conduct says workers "are expected to do their utmost to create a workplace culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, bias, and unlawful discrimination." Picahi said Damore violated this code.
Damore later spoke out about the company's culture. "There was a lot of just shaming and 'no, you can’t say that, that’s sexist,'" he said in the interview posted online. "There’s just so much hypocrisy in a lot of things they are saying."