In September 2018, Breitbart News published The Google Tape, a leaked recording of Google’s weekly all-hands meeting that took place immediately after the 2016 presidential election. Having faced numerous leaks from those meetings, Google is now stepping back on them.
According to a report in left-wing tech mag Wired, Google plans to restrict the meetings to once a month rather than once a week, and limit discussions to “product and business strategy,” rather than more contentious matters.
Last week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email blast to his 100,000 or so employees, cutting back the company’s defining all-hands meeting known as TGIF. The famous free-for-alls had epitomized the company’s egalitarian ethos, a place where employees and leaders could talk freely about nearly anything. More recently, however, the biweekly meeting had become fraught as it increasingly reflected Google’s tensions as opposed to its aspirations. “It’s not working in its current form,” Pichai said of what was once the hallmark of Google culture. In 2020, he declared, the meetings would be limited to once a month, and they would be more constrained affairs, sticking to “product and business strategy.” Don’t Be Evil has changed to Don’t Ask Me Anything.
With that, Pichai not only ended an era at Google, he symbolically closed the shutters on a dream held widely in the tech world—that one can scale a company to global ubiquity while maintaining the camaraderie of an idealistic clan.
In his email to employees, Pichai cited an inability on the part of attendees to keep the meetings confidential as one of the reasons for the new policy. Pichai blamed “a coordinated effort to share our conversations outside of the company after every TGIF,” which has “affected our ability to use TGIF as a forum for candid conversations on important topics.”
In other words, the company famed for collecting information on just about everyone’s personal lives and behaviors is worried that the public is getting too much information about its own private affairs.
Are you an insider at Google, Facebook, Twitter or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address email@example.com.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.