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Google CEO Pichai cancels town hall on gender controversy

The cancellation comes after employees express concern about their safety and online privacy

AP| PTI  |  Palo Alto (US) 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
The town hall was meant to hear out employee grievances over a flare-up that has consumed Google for much of the week

CEO has cancelled an internal meant to address after employee questions for management began to leak online from the company's internal messaging service.

Pichai said in an email to staff that several employees became fearful for their safety and grew concerned about being out for speaking up at the


He said the company will aim to create several other forums "where people can feel comfortable to speak freely." Pichai's email was sent about an hour before the event was to start yesterday afternoon.

The was meant to hear out employee grievances over a flare-up that has consumed for much of the week. It began last weekend after engineer circulated a memo that claimed biological helped explain why women are underrepresented at the company.

fired Damore on Monday. The engineer has claimed he had a right to voice concerns over workplace conditions and filed a labour relations board complaint prior to being fired.

Google's internal "Dory" system allows employees to ask questions and then vote on questions posed by other employees so managers can address the most pressing ones. Wired magazine published some of the questions verbatim online yesterday.

Screenshots of the questions with names attached had been leaked, although none with names had been published as of late yesterday, a spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, a graphic composed of the Twitter profiles of several employees who were gay, lesbian or transgender began to circulate online, assisted by conservative commentators such as former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos. That graphic drew hundreds of negative comments about the people and the company.

First Published: Fri, August 11 2017. 16:38 IST
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