Google CEO: we need to “take a much harder line on inappropriate behavior”

On Tuesday evening, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent out an email to employees apologizing for the company’s inadequate response in the wake of a recent report in The New York Times.

 The newspaper chronicled three top executives who have received massive payouts over the past decade despite being credibly accused of sexual misconduct.

In the five-paragraph message, which was obtained by Ars, Pichai wrote that the company’s apology “wasn’t enough.”

As he continued:

So first, let me say that I am deeply sorry for the past actions and the pain they have caused employees Larry mentioned this on stage last week, but it bears repeating: if even one person experiences Google the way the New York Times article described, we are not the company we aspire to be.

I understand the anger and disappointment that many of you feel. I feel it as well, and I am fully committed to making progress on and issue that has persisted for far too long in our society…and yes, here at Google, too.

Pichai went further, noting that the company needed to take a “much harder line on inappropriate behavior.”

Google, which has notably not refuted any of the ’ reporting, did not respond to Ars’ request for comment.

The CEO also noted that not one executive who had been terminated or voluntarily left the company during the last two years received an “exit package.” That would seemingly include Richard DeVaul, the director of X, Alphabet’s so-called “moonshot” division, who reportedly abruptly left the company on Tuesday.

DeVaul was one of the men named specifically by the , who allegedly made unwanted advances towards a woman while she was interviewing for a job where he would be her manager.

DeVaul’s accuser, Star Simpson, did not know that X had already decided not to hire her before the two met at Burning Man in 2013, where according to the , “he asked her to remove her shirt and offered a back rub. She said she refused. When he insisted, she said she relented to a neck rub.”

According to the , DeVaul apologized in a statement for his “error of judgment.” DeVaul did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.

Google employees are reportedly planning a Thursday walkout at more than a dozen offices worldwide as a way to get the attention of the company’s leadership.

In the statement, Pichai also seemed to say that the company was aware of the walkout, noting that employees would “have the support that [they] need.”

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