Google's 'people operations' chief to step down as employee protests refuse to die down

Google "G" logo
Google "G" logo (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google's HR head Eileen Naughton will be stepping down later this year amid rising tensions between the company's employees and the top brass.
  • She has been the vice president of people operations at Google since 2016.
  • Naughton has said that she is stepping down to be closer to her family.

The head of human resources at Google, Eileen Naughton has decided to step down from her position later this year. Naughton, who was appointed as the vice president of People Operations at Google in 2016, had to deal with intense tensions between employees and the management over the last few years.

Tensions between Google's top brass and employees started growing in 2018, after a report revealed that Android co-founder Andy Rubin was given a $90 million 'exit package', despite strong evidence of sexual misconduct. On November 1, 2018, nearly 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout in front of the company's offices around the world to protect against its handling of sexual misconduct.

More recently, dozens of Google employees claimed to have faced retaliation for reporting workplace issues to the human resources department. It was also surrounded in controversy over its decision to fire five employees involved in "internal activism."

In a statement sent to Fortune, Naughton said:

I'm at the very beginning of the process, and wanted to let everyone know upfront. I'll be working with Sundar and Ruth to find a great leader for the people operations team.

Naughton has told Fortune that she has decided to step down from her position to be closer to her family in New York City. She will, however, not be leaving the company altogether. Google says Naughton will take another role within the company, although no specifics have been revealed yet.

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, said in a statement:

Over the past 13 years, Eileen has made major contributions to the company in numerous areas, from media partnerships, to leading our sales and operations in the UK and Ireland, to leading our People Operations team through a period of significant growth -- during which over 70,000 people started their careers at Google. We're grateful to Eileen for all she's done and look forward to her next chapter at Google.

Babu Mohan
News Writer