Sundar Pichai Google CEO, doesn’t regret about firing James Damore, the engineer for violating company rules.
James Damore wrote a contentious 3,300-word memo in August that argued the gender gap in Silicon Valley is largely due to women and men being “biologically” different.
“I regret that people misunderstand that we made this decision because of a political belief one way or another,” Pichai said on Friday in a filmed discussion with MSNBC and Recode.
Pichai wished the story hadn’t made it to the public “in such a polarized way.”
Damore’s memo, claimed that there were fewer women in technology in part because of biological differences which circulated internally at Google before leaking to the press and thus the company fired him soon after, stating that parts of the memo were contrary to Google’s “basic values” and code of conduct.
The firing sparked a debate, with some celebrating Google’s swift action and others outraged at the company for allegedly defending political correctness at the expense of free speech and ideological diversity.
The decision gathered a lot of praise and condemnation either way, New York Times columnist David Brooks argued that Pichai should resign for how he handled the situation.
Damore even filed a lawsuit accusing the company of discriminating against conservative men.
“It was the right decision,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, said onstage.
Wojcicki said that “if something violates our code of conduct, we should be able to take an action.” She said Damore’s writing struck a chord because she has devoted her career to technology and has encouraged other women to follow suit.
His remarks seemed to set us back so far in so many ways.
The controversy became a stand of spotlight in Silicon Valley, Pichai said on Friday that Google didn’t view the issue through a political view, and rather made its decision to ensure that all employees felt comfortable at the company.