- Sundar Pichai emailed Google’s staff Tuesday saying he was “deeply sorry” for sexual misconduct at the company after last week’s explosive New York Times report.
- The email came after news emerged that Google employees were planning a walkout to protest the company’s handling of the sexual-misconduct allegations.
- Pichai alluded to staff dissatisfaction in the email, saying Google must take a “much harder line on inappropriate behaviour.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to employees saying he was “deeply sorry” for the sexual misconduct of top executives laid bare in a report by The New York Times.
Ars Technica obtained the email, which it said was sent to employees on Tuesday evening. It followed an all-staff meeting at the company last week in which Pichai and the Google cofounder Larry Page addressed concerns.
“So first, let me say I am deeply sorry for the past actions and the pain they have caused employees,” Pichai wrote. “Larry mentioned this on stage last week, but it bears repeating: if even one person experiences Google the way the New York Times article described, we are not the company we aspire to be.”
The Times described sexual misconduct on the part of Andy Rubin, the creator of Android. The Times said Rubin’s departure from Google in 2014 came after an accusation that he coerced a woman into oral sex. He denied the accusation.
The email came after news emerged Monday that Google employees were planning a walkout. The “women’s walk,” scheduled to take place Thursday, was organised after last week’s all-hands meetings. In his email, Pichai alluded to staff dissatisfaction, writing:
“Since last week, I’ve heard from many of you. Some of you wrote me personally. Others have shared their thoughts with leaders and fellow Googlers. One thing that’s become clear to me is that our apology at TGIF didn’t come through, and it wasn’t enough. We hear you.”
Pichai also said in the email that Google had to take a “much harder line on inappropriate behaviour.” On Tuesday an executive named in the Times piece – a director at the Google research lab Alphabet X named Richard DeVaul – reportedly resigned without an exit package.
Business Insider has contacted Google for comment.