NEW YORK ― Google employees around the globe staged a walkout Thursday to protest the tech giant's handling of sexual harassment, prompted by a bombshell New York Times report last week that Google quietly offered several high-profile executives lucrative exit packages after they were accused of sexual misconduct. A similar scene was witnessed at Google offices in India, Dublin, London, Tokyo, Singapore, Zurich, Berlin, Chicago, Seattle and at its headquarters in Mountain View, California.
The demonstrations, dubbed "Google Walkout", follow an outcry over a New York Times investigation that detailed years of sexual harassment allegations, multimillion-dollar severance packages for accused executives, and a lack of transparency over the cases.
Andy Rubin, a former Google executive credited with creating the Android operating system, left Google in 2014 with a $90-million package.
Rubin's spokesperson denied the story and said the "false accusations" were part of a "smear campaign by [his] ex-wife". We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action'.
Another speaker shared an anonymous story from another employee, who said one of her managers got drunk and tried to kiss her as she helped him return to his hotel.
Thursday's protest will be a test of how effectively Pichai has managed to placate staff anger over the issue.
Pichai said he has heard from many employees on the subject of inappropriate behaviour at work and was "deeply sorry for the past actions and the pain they have caused employees".
The New York Times writes that more than 1,500 employees are expected to walk out today.
A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct safely and anonymously.
Two blocks away, a larger crowd of people that appeared to number a thousand or more, including Google employees and New Yorkers not working for the company, filled a small park. Employees posted photos and video of the walkout on social media, but it's unclear how much of Google's workforce participated.