11 Feb 2020
Google HR head to step down amid rising employee tensions
The development comes amid rising employee activism against top-level decisions at the Mountain View-headquartered firm.
Controversially, Google had also fired five employees involved in internal activism last year.
Here are more details.
Naughton will assume new role at Google
According to Fortune, Naughton is stepping down as the Vice President of People Operations, a position she has held for four years. She has been working at Google since 2006, assuming different roles over time.
Reportedly, she will not be leaving Google and will continue to work at the tech giant in a new role that is yet to be decided.
Naughton plans shifting to New York to be with family
In a statement, Naughton said that she was relinquishing the position of HR head to be closer to her family.
She said, "My husband and I have decided—after six years on the road, first in London and now San Francisco—to return home to New York to be closer to our family."
Naughton has been working from the Google head office in Mountain View, California.
Grateful to Eileen for all she's done: Sundar Pichai
Reacting to the news, Pichai said, "Over the past 13 years, Eileen has made major contributions to the company in numerous areas, from media partnerships to leading our UK operations, to leading our People Operations team through a period of significant growth."
He added, "We're grateful to Eileen for all she's done and look forward to her next chapter at Google."
Google faced increased tensions with employees recently
In recent years, Google has faced strong employee opposition against its executive decisions such as entering contracts with the United States military or developing a censored search engine for China.
Some 20,000 employees had also staged a walkout in 2018 after the company offered multimillion-dollar severance packages to some involved in sexual harassment scandals.
This led to the firm allegedly retaliating against walkout organizers.
Naughton to help Google find her replacement
In the statement, Naughton also said that she will work with Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Google CFO Ruth Porat to "find a great leader for the People Operations team." Alphabet is the parent company of Google.
Last year, Google fired five employees for supporting protests
Last year, Google fired four employees for their involvement in internal activism. They raised concerns with the National Labor Relations Board and an investigation is underway. Another employee was fired for informing employees about their right to protest.