Google HR Chief Stepping aside As Worker Activism Rises

Google on Monday announced that Eileen Naughton, head of human resources, stepped away from her position as the internet company's "vice president of people operations."

“We’re grateful to Eileen for all she’s done and look forward to her next chapter at Google,” Sundar Pichai, the head of Google and its parent company Alphabet, said in a statement.

Google added more than 70,000 employees during Naughton’s time as head of human resources, according to Pichai.

Naughton said she'd consult alongside Ruth Porat, Pichai's chief financial officer, to identify a replacement.

“My husband and I have decided — after six years on the road, first in London and now San Francisco — to return home to New York to be closer to our family,” Naughton said.

Over recent years, workforce backlash to top-level actions ranging from negotiating arrangements with the US military to tailoring a clone of the China search engine has undermined Google's workplace.

Google in November fired four employees on the grounds they had violated data security policies, but the tech titan was accused of persecuting them for trying to unionize staff.

The quartet's dismissals — nicknamed the "Thanksgiving Four" on social media — deepened employee-management strains at a business previously seen as a model of Silicon Valley rights but now entangled in many scandals.

One of the terminated staff was related to a petition criticizing Google for partnering with the U.S. customs and border patrol agency involved in the war on illegal immigration under President Donald Trump.

Google employees have also openly opposed the company pursuing contracts to put its technology to work for the US military.

In 2018, Google employees poured out of premises at its Mountain View campus and around the world to protest the company’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations.

Source: AFP


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