Google has split from its VP of Developer Relations for Google Cloud, according to an internal email in which employees reported on anti-Semitism after a controversial all-hand meeting.
“I wanted to announce that today is Amr Awadallah’s last day at Google,” wrote Eyal Manor, Google Cloud vice president of engineering and product, in the email to employees on Thursday evening and was viewed by CNBC. “Effective immediately, the Cloud DevRel organization will report to Ben Jackson, who will then report to Pali Bhat.”
In the email from Manor, the team was praised for supporting the “massive growth” of Cloud and at the same time thanked for contacting us about cultural issues. “I know it has been especially challenging with a series of organizational and leadership changes as we all navigate a global pandemic and don’t have the benefit of connecting personally as we used to.”
Awadallah, who served as vice president of developer relations and joined the company in 2019, wrote a 10,000-word manifesto on LinkedIn in June about his past anti-Semitism. It was entitled “We are one”.
“I hated the Jewish people, all the Jewish people”! and the emphasis here is on the past tense, “his manifesto began.” Yes, I was anti-Semite even though I am Semite, as that term generally refers to the peoples who speak Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew and Others. “
Google Cloud is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.
In interviews with CNBC, several employees described a controversial staff meeting on Wednesday that touched the manifesto. CNBC has also reviewed internal complaints documentation. The meeting recording was sent to more than 100 members of the team on Thursday, employees said.
“Thanks to those of you who got in touch,” said Manor in the e-mail with the departure notification. “It shows how much you care about this organization and building a supportive culture.”
Google declined to comment. Awadallah did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment sent to his Facebook account via a direct message.
Awadallah, an Egyptian American well known in the cloud industry, also posted his manifesto on YouTube and Twitter to expose anti-Semitism by telling how it was enlightened after “hating all Jews”. In a clumsy attempt to denounce hatred amid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he listed all the Jews he knew that he said were good people. Staff said his public admission, which omitted important historical Jewish events, made it difficult for publicly available developer attorneys, tasked with being the face and bridge for Google developers, both internally and externally.
In the manifesto, Awadallah describes how he was “cautious” about VMware co-founder Mendel Rosenblum because of his surname, but came to appreciate him after meeting him and his spouse, VMware co-founder and former Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene, who both invested in Awadallah’s company, Cloudera.
The argument and the goodbye come a month after the manifesto, when Google wonders how it deals with the diversity among its executives and a perceived double standard by simple employees. Employees said they were often reprimanded for posting far less offensive social media posts.
Employees who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation said frustration with Awadallah’s leadership style had built up for months, leading to this week’s all-hands meeting where employees confronted him with their discomfort with his manifesto, with him and the leadership erosion of its reporting executives. The meeting, according to the staff, required the placement of an employee from the HR department, who had to step in several times.
“On the one hand, I am grateful that you no longer hate my children,” said a Google director of Network Infrastructure and head of the tech site in a LinkedIn comment. “On the other hand, this made my job as one of your co-workers much more difficult. The previous situation made it difficult to be a Jewish leader on Google. That makes it almost untenable.”
While Awadallah in his manifesto recognized his previous prejudices in the apparent pursuit of “peace,” he tried to use anecdotes and personal stories to explain why his current claims are correct. One way to do this is to share his 23andMe results that showed it was him 0.1% Ashkenazi Jew, which he typed in bold as the reason why he is technically Jewish. Staff said Awadallah had previously used his 23andMe results to justify his opinion.
Google Cloud Developer Relations VP Amr Awadallah tweeted to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey after the website found his post was considered hate speech.
“I admire many Jewish people, as I said before, but I will tell you this too with unwavering conviction: The Jewish people are no more special than the Christian, Black, Hispanic, White, Muslim, Asian, Arab or any other group of people People “, it says in his manifesto.
When employees expressed their discomfort at the all-hand meeting on Wednesday, the manager doubled his manifesto and insisted that employees be misunderstood, they said.
A Google Cloud VP tweeted a “confession” about anti-Semitism.