Google not run by referendum, says Sundar Pichai amid anti-harassment protest

San Francisco/New Delhi: Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that the company is not run by ‘referendum’ as hundreds of Google employees and contractors in Asia staged brief midday walkouts on Thursday, amid complaints of sexism, racism and unchecked executive power in their workplace.

A Bloomberg report said that Pichai at a conference in New York has said, “We don’t run the company by referendum,” adding that “there are many good things about giving employees a lot of voice, out of that we have done well.”

The demonstrations follow a New York Times report last week that said Google in 2014 gave a $90 million exit package to Andy Rubin after the then-senior vice president was accused of sexual harassment.

Rubin denied the allegation in the story, which he also said contained “wild exaggerations” about his compensation. Google did not dispute the report.

The report energized a months-long movement inside Google to increase diversity, improve treatment of women and minorities and ensure the company upholds its motto of “don`t be evil” as it expands.

The dissatisfaction among Alphabet`s 94,000 employees and tens of thousands more contractors has not noticeably affected company shares. But employees expect Alphabet to face recruiting and retention challenges if their concerns go unaddressed.

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