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Google Faces More Backlash As Engineers Quit Over Timnit Gebru Firing

Google continues to face backlash from its firing of Dr. Timnit Gebru, with two engineers citing the company’s actions as the reason for their leaving....
Google Faces More Backlash As Engineers Quit Over Timnit Gebru Firing
Written by Matt Milano

Google continues to face backlash from its firing of Dr. Timnit Gebru, with two engineers citing the company’s actions as the reason for their leaving.

According to CNBC, David Baker, a user safety director, left Google in January as a result of Gebru’s firing. In a letter seen by Reuters, Baker said it had “extinguished my desire to continue as a Googler.” Baker added, “We cannot say we believe in diversity, and then ignore the conspicuous absence of many voices from within our walls.”

Now another engineer, Vinesh Kannan, has quit, citing Google’s treatment of Gebru and recruiter April Christina Curley.

Baker and Kannan’s resignations are just the latest pushback the company is facing for how it has treated women, and specifically Black women. In the aftermath of Gebru’s firing, the company faced widespread criticism from inside and outside the company, prompting CEO Sundar Pichai to apologize for the company’s handling of the situation.

Even the apology, however, was widely panned as being tone-deaf and failing to take real responsibility. Gebru’s firing was directly cited by employees as a motivating factor in forming the first union among major tech companies.

It’s hard to predict where the backlash will end, but it’s a safe bet Google will likely continue facing fallout until it implements meaningful changes.

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