Google has canceled their diversity-focused town hall meeting this week due to fear that details of the meeting may be leaked online.
Shortly after the firing of Google engineer James Damore and subsequent Breitbart News exclusive Rebels of Google interview series with a number of Google insiders, Google has canceled their town hall meeting this week. Business Insider reports that Google CEO Sundar Pichai allegedly called off the town hall meeting just two hours before it was set to go ahead, citing fears that employees could be “outed” online.
Pichai and other Google executives were set to answer questions about Damore’s viewpoint diversity manifesto at the town hall before it was canceled at the last minute. Business Insider notes that, “websites and videos on YouTube have listed Google employees by name along with their internal responses to Damore’s memo,” likely referencing Breitbart News’ coverage of Damore’s firing which included leaked messages from Google’s internal chat network including discussion of Damore’s internally communicated manifesto.
Sundar’s full memo reads:
TL;DR Sorry for the late notice but we are going to cancel today’s Town Hall.
We had hoped to have a frank, open discussion today as we always do to bring us together and move forward. But our Dory questions appeared externally this afternoon, and on some websites Googlers are now being named personally. Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and worried they may be “outed” publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall.
In recognition of Googlers’ concerns, we need to step back and create a better set of conditions for us to have the discussion. So in the coming days we will find several forums to gather and engage with Googlers, where people can feel comfortable to speak freely. We’ll share details soon.
Over the past two days, I have had the chance to meet with so many people here, and I have read each of your emails carefully. The vast majority of you are very supportive of our decision. A smaller percentage of you wish we would do more. And some are worried that you cannot speak out at work freely. All of your voices and opinions matter… and I want to hear them.
In the meantime, let’s not forget what unites us as a company — our desire to build great products for everyone that make a big difference in their lives. I have been in a few product discussions today and felt energized by the important things we are working on. We can, and will continue, to come together to do the very best for the people we serve.
It is not known if Google’s mandatory Friday after-work meeting will go ahead this week.