Margaret Mitchell fired from Google

Margaret Mitchell, co-director of Google’s ethical AI team, says the company fired her following an investigation into her use of corporate email.

Why does it matter: Google was already under fire for the removal of Timnit Gebru, the other co-leader of the team. Mitchell has been banned from corporate email since last month after what a source says was her effort to search corporate correspondence for evidence to support Gebru’s claim of discrimination and harassment.

The move comes on the same day that Google announced internally that it had completed its investigation of Gebru’s departure, as Axios first reported. The company did not disclose the findings of that investigation, but announced a series of policy changes, including linking company-wide executive pay to diversity and inclusion efforts.

Between lines: Mitchell too posted a tweet critic of Google’s handling of Gebru and a subsequent meeting between CEO Sundar Pichai and historically black college and university leaders.

“Suppose you have a problem constantly alienating black women and you have caused serious damage in their lives. You could: A) try to undo that damage B) try to find more black people you like (the symbolic approach). Good luck. …. “

– Margaret Mitchell, in a January Twitter post

What are they saying:

  • Mitchell, On twitter: “I am fired.”
  • Google, in a statement to Axios: “After conducting a conduct review on this manager, we confirmed that there were multiple violations of our code of conduct, as well as our security policies, including the exfiltration of confidential business-sensitive documents and private data of other employees.”

Go deeper: Google modifies diversity, investigates policies after consultation.


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