Friday, June 14, 2024

Google employees protest Israel project: “This is a business …,” says CEO Sundar Pichai in note to staff – Times of India

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai‘s has sent a clear message to employees: the office isn’t a place for politics. Pichai’s ‘loud and clear’ note to employees comes after the last few eventful days wherein 9 Google employees were arrested and Google fired 28 employees over protests against the company’s $1.2 billion cloud project for Israel government, called Project Nimbus.The Google CEO’s note follows an earlier company-wide memo sent by Google’s VP of security Chris Rackow after the company fired 28 employees linked to sit-in protests at company’s buildings in Sunnyvale and New York City.
In the memo, Rackow, said “behavior like this has no place in our workplace.” The memo titled: ‘Serious consequences for disruptive behavior’ claims that the protestors defaced Google’s property and “made coworkers feel threatened.” Rackow concludes his message by telling employees to “think again” if they expect Google to overlook conduct that violates its policies.
Google CEO Pichai’s ‘loud and clear’ note to employees on Israel protests
The headline news in Pichai’s announcement is that Google is combining its Android and hardware teams to create a “Platforms and Devices” team to oversee the company’s products that include its Pixel line, Android, Chrome, Photos and more. Google is also consolidating its teams that focus on building AI models across Google Research and DeepMind.
The stern reminder to employees is at the bottom of the Google CEO Pichai’s 1200-word restructuring announcement. It comes with the titke ‘One Final Note’. Below is Pichai’s note to employees
One final note: All of the changes referenced above will help us work with greater focus and clarity towards our mission. However, we also need to be more focused in how we work, collaborate, discuss and even disagree. We have a culture of vibrant, open discussion that enables us to create amazing products and turn great ideas into action. That’s important to preserve. But ultimately we are a workplace and our policies and expectations are clear: this is a business, and not a place to act in a way that disrupts coworkers or makes them feel unsafe, to attempt to use the company as a personal platform, or to fight over disruptive issues or debate politics. This is too important a moment as a company for us to be distracted.
We have a duty to be an objective and trusted provider of information that serves all of our users globally. When we come to work, our goal is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. That supersedes everything else and I expect us to act with a focus that reflects that.

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