‘Office no place for politics’: Sundar Pichai sends a missive to Google staff after activist firings

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has asked his employees to keep politics out of the workplace, saying it is “too important a moment as a company” to be distracted.

Pichai’s memo comes after the tech giant fired 28 employees in protest against the company and its $1.2 billion Project Nimbus contract with the Israeli government amid the country’s bombing of Palestinians. While No Technology Apartheid claimed that more than two dozen workers were fired “randomly,” a Google statement confirmed that 28 employees involved had been fired.

Police earlier arrested about nine people after hours of sit-ins at Google’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale. They live-streamed their removal from the building.

In his “Mission First” memo, Pichai reiterated that “the company’s policies and expectations are clear.”

“This is a business, not a place to behave in a way that disrupts or makes co-workers feel unsafe, to try to use the company as a personal platform, to fight about damaging issues or discuss politics,” Pichai said in a statement. note. Pichai also said employees have a duty to ensure the company is an “objective and reliable” provider of information that serves “all of our users globally.”

“When we come to work, our goal is to organize global information and make it useful and accessible to everyone globally,” Pichai said. “This supersedes everything else and I expect us to act with a focus that reflects that.”

Google is combining the software division responsible for Android mobile software and the Chrome browser with the hardware division known for its Pixel smartphones and Fitbit wearables. It’s part of a broader plan to integrate AI more widely across the company.

Pichai said the changes will “galvanize the Android and Chrome ecosystems” while helping to spur innovation.

The decision will put both operations under the supervision of Rick Osterloh, the Google executive who previously oversaw the company’s hardware group. Not long ago, Google isolated Android development from its hardware division, saying it wanted to avoid giving its phone designers an unfair advantage over other major smartphone makers that use Android — including Samsung and Motorola, as well as Chinese companies like Oppo and Xiaomi. .

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