Hundreds of Google employees from over 20 offices around the world are walking out as a means to protest the company's poor handling of sexual misconduct cases.
Staff in Singapore, Zurich, London, Tokyo, Berlin and NY were among those taking part. One notable figure at the centre of sexual misconduct allegations was Andy Rubin creator of Android, who reportedly received a $90 million exit package.
According to the NYT report, two unnamed Google executives said then-Chief Executive Page asked Rubin to resign after the company confirmed a complaint by a female employee about a sexual encounter in a hotel room in 2013.
He said: "Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward".
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He also said he has talked with a lot of staff members on the subject of inappropriate behaviour at work and that the company is "deeply sorry for the past actions and the pain they have caused employees". Though Pichai did not address the allegations against Rubin, he said it was "difficult to read".
Twitter account Google Walkout For Real Change is documenting the various protests around the world and offering words of support.
Solidarity: Google workers gather outside the Dublin office. The next day, Google's parent company Alphabet confirmed that Richard DeVaul, an executive accused of sexual harassment, had been fired without severance.
Thursday's protest will be a test of how effectively Pichai has managed to placate staff anger over the issue.
Nevertheless, protestors say that, for every one of these major news stories on sexual misconduct, there are "thousands more, at every level of the company". He said those who participated in the walkout would not be penalized and noted that many senior leaders took part.
In an unsigned statement from organizers, the Google protesters called for an end to forced arbitration in harassment and discrimination cases, a practice that requires employees to give up their right to sue and often includes confidentiality agreements. Appoint an Employee Rep to the Board.