Engineer behind Google anti-diversity memo reportedly fired

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The Google engineer who wrote an anti-diversity manifesto that has roiled the company and Silicon Valley has been fired, according to reports.

Recode and Bloomberg both reported Monday night that the as-yet unnamed author has left the company.

Google declined to confirm the firing.

The essay by the male engineer began to circulate within the company last week. Titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” it suggests the company encourage “ideological” rather than gender diversity and contends that women don’t make up 50% of the company’s tech and leadership positions because of differences in their preferences and abilities, not sexism.

Fallout from the memo has been so severe that Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who had been traveling in Europe and Africa, cut short his family vacation and told employees he would be back for a town hall meeting Thursday in order to discuss the incident that’s caused an uproar at the company.

“This has been a very difficult few days,” a company-wide memo sent out by Pichai on Monday evening began.

The company strongly supports the right of staff to express themselves “and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it,” Pichai wrote in his memo.

However, portions of the engineer’s manifesto violate the company’s code of conduct, crossing the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes, Pichai said.

“To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct,” he said.

The company was between a rock and a hard place – if it fired him it created a martyr but if it didn’t, it would have a staff member whose management and potential hiring decisions would be highly suspect.

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