NYT Columnist: Google CEO Should Resign


A New York Times columnist argued that Google’s CEO should resign after he fired the man who wrote a memo on the psychological differences between men and women Friday.

David Brooks, a columnist at The NYT, said that of everyone who was involved in the debacle surrounding the Google diversity memo, Google CEO Sundar Pichai acted the worst in how he handled it.

“Which brings us to Pichai, the supposed grown-up in the room,” Brooks wrote. “He could have wrestled with the tension between population- level research and individual experience. He could have stood up for the free flow of information. Instead he joined the mob. He fired Damore and wrote, ‘To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K.’”

James Damore, the author behind the leaked Google memo, argued that psychological differences between men and women could explain why there aren’t a lot of women in the technology center. Damore also proposed numerous ways to bring more people in to the industry, calling for more diversity of thought in the company.

Brooks argued that Pichai’s explanation of the memo was a “blatantly dishonest characterization” of it. This means Pichai either can’t understand the research Damore used, is too scared to stand up to the outrage or he can’t handle complex data, Brooks argued.

“Either Pichai is unprepared to understand the research (unlikely), is not capable of handling complex data flows (a bad trait in a C.E.O.) or was simply too afraid to stand up to a mob,” Brooks wrote. “Regardless which weakness applies, this episode suggests he should seek a nonleadership position. We are at a moment when mobs on the left and the right ignore evidence and destroy scapegoats. That’s when we need good leaders most.”

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