Why Did Google’s HR Chief Quit?


If you haven’t heard already, Eileen Naughton, vice president of people operations at Google is stepping down later in the year.

Naughton has been at the helm of Google’s HR division during turbulent times which include the mass walkout of around 20,000 staff from multiple locations around the world over large severance packages being gifted to executives implicated in sexual misconduct claims, the firing of staff who organised these protests and the alleged ‘managing out’ of its own human rights chief over concerns he raised.

Naughton stated ‘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’.

CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, Sundar Pichai said: ‘We’re grateful to Eileen for all she’s done and look forward to her next chapter at Google’.

Black google employees have also spoken out on racism within the company. In 2018 the company employed 1,793 black people which equates to 2.6% of its US workforce. This problem is not isolated to Google and we can of course not apportion blame for the turbulent times at Google with so called ‘hush payments’ to executives on Naughton, however, it is no surprise she is leaving at a time when worker unrest is at its highest.

Google are adamant that Naughton is staying with the company in a new role but say that the new role is yet to be decided. Google have also confirmed that Naughton will be responsible for recruiting her successor.