Just two days after Google employees accused the tech giant of building a digital surveillance tool they claim could be used to interfere with attempts to organize protests or other labor-related gatherings, a leaked audio recording revealed its CEO is concerned about trust issues between the company and its workers.
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In an exclusive revealed by the Washington Post, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company had violated some employees’ trust.
“We are genuinely struggling with some issues — transparency at scale,” he said, according to the video.
These comments and recent events have cast a shadow over what was once seen as a free-wheeling Silicon Valley atmosphere. In August, Google issued a memo that basically told its 100,000 employees how to behave. Among the memo's edicts: "While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not. Our primary responsibility is to do the work we’ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics."
The memo came after software engineer James Damore wrote a divisive memo denouncing Google's diversity push. Google said Damore was terminated because he violated company policies banning harassment and discrimination.
Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano declined to comment to the Post on the leaked recording.