Engineer behind controversial manifesto is out at Google
The Google engineer who wrote the controversial 3,300-word memo criticizing the company’s diversity efforts is out.
A source told CNN Tech that James Damore, the employee behind the memo, was fired by the company. A person inside the company said Damore was no longer in an online directory that lists every Google employee on Tuesday.
Damore said in an email to Bloomberg that he was fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”
Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and others have reported that the engineer who wrote the memo, James Damore, has been fired. Damore has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. Google has declined to comment.
Damore shared his manifesto internally last week. In the post, Damore claims to “value diversity and inclusion.” But he takes issue with Google’s approach, which he sees as overly political and alienating to “non-progressives.”
“When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence,” he writes in the memo. ”This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies.”
Damore went a step further, however, by arguing that women are not biologically fit for tech roles.
He wrote that women may lag behind men in tech in top positions because women are less assertive and more neurotic, making them less likely to get leadership roles and “high stress jobs.”
“We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism,” he wrote.
The document began circulating widely among employees on Friday and was leaked to multiple media outlets over the weekend.
On Monday night, Google CEO Sundar Pichai cut his family vacation short to address the outcry over the document. Pichai called parts of the memo “offensive” and said it violated the company’s Code of Conduct.
“Our job is to build great products for users that make a difference in their lives,” he wrote in the email. “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.”
A source inside the company told CNNMoney that when an employee violates the company’s code of conduct, it often results in firing.
Some employees had used an internal discussion group to call for the engineer to be fired. Others have supported the employee’s right to voice his opinions, if not supporting the opinions themselves.
Damore’s exit from Google could add to the fierce debate. For most of its history, Google has prided itself on being a haven a for free speech and open debate among employees.
By Seth Fiegerman and Laurie Segall