Google Cloud parts ways with developer relations VP following antisemitism row
Amr Awadallah had confessed to having "hated the Jewish people" in a LinkedIn post
Eyal Manor, Google Cloud vice president of Engineering & Product, made the announcement in an internal company email seen by CNBC, which said that “today is Amr Awadallah’s last day at Google”.
Manor added that Awadallah’s subordinates at the Cloud developer relations team will from now on report to Cloud Content & Documentation director Ben Jackson, who in turn will report to vice president of Product & Design Pali Bhat.
The changes are “effective immediately”, he told employees.
Awadallah’s confession, titled “We Are One”, was posted to LinkedIn on 13 June. Opening with the statement “I hated the Jewish people, all the Jewish people”, it contains multiple anecdotes from his experience as a Muslim working with Jewish colleagues in the tech industry.
One such example are his relations with VMware co-founders Mendel Rosenblum and Diane Green, the latter of which joined Google Cloud in 2012 and would later become CEO between 2015 and 2019. Rosenblum and Green, who are married, invested in Awadallah's startup Cloudera, yet Awadallah was initially “very cautious” of working with Rosenblum due to his Jewish background.
Although some comments under the LinkedIn post were positive, the confession was generally poorly received by Awadallah’s co-workers at Google, with the director of Network Infrastructure and Tech Site lead, Daniel Golding saying that the “previous situation has made being a Jewish leader at Google tough”.
“On one hand, I'm grateful that you no longer hate my children. On the other, this has made my job as one of your colleagues much harder,” he wrote, before adding: “I'm unsure why you would write this under your title and company affiliation and it frustrates me. You could simply have done this as a private person.”
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The post was also the subject of a reportedly contentious meeting that required the intervention of HR, yet Awadallah remained in his position as VP of developer relations. Although today is his last day at Google Cloud, his LinkedIn job status hasn’t been updated.
Google staff members told CNBC that the issue was an example of a double standard of the company’s treatment of employees, adding that “they often faced reprimand for far less offensive social media posts”.
The incident is the latest example of Google’s diversity issues: the tech giant recently came under fire for 'problematic' responses to employee racism complaints. Earlier this year, it also settled hiring bias accusations for $3.8 million.
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