As controversy continues to swirl around James Damore, the Google engineer who was fired after writing a memo about gender diversity at the company, the longtime New York Times columnist David Brooks has placed blame squarely on the shoulders of Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
In a new column out Friday titled “Sundar Pichai Should Resign as Google’s C.E.O.,” Brooks takes Pichai to task over his handling of Damore’s firing.
“There are many actors in the whole Google/diversity drama, but I’d say the one who’s behaved the worst is the C.E.O., Sundar Pichai,” Brooks wrote.
Brooks accuses Pichai of joining “the mob” that came after Damore and says he failed to stand up for “the free flow of information.”
“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.
Damore was fired on Monday after his memo, which claimed that biological differences made women less suited for careers in tech, was circulated widely.
“To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK,” Pichai wrote in a companywide memo about Damore’s firing.
But many have come to Damore’s defense, particularly those who oppose what Damore called Google’s “left bias.” While Damore told Bloomberg TV that he didn’t identify with the so-called alt-right, many of his sympathizers are right-wing or far-right audiences who say Damore’s firing is a free-speech issue.
In his column, Brooks echoes the free-speech argument and says he agrees with Damore’s science-based arguments about gender differences.
You can read Brooks’ piece at The New York Times.