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Google CEO Sundar Pichai: "We didn't always get it right"

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke Thursday.


James Martin/CNET

Amid controversy at Google over sexual harassment allegations, CEO Sundar Pichai told an audience that Google has learned from its mistakes. 

“These incidents are from a few years ago and we’ve evolved as a company,” he said, Thursday at the New York Times’ DealBook conference.  

Pichai’s session, titled “Soul searching: technology’s role in society,” comes the same day Googlers in offices around the world staged a walkout to protest the handling of sexual harassment cases internally.

Last week, the New York Times reported that Android creator Andy Rubin was given a $90 million exit package after he resigned, reportedly amid sexual misconduct allegations. Rubin denies the claim.

Earlier this week, X Director Rich DeVaul resigned after accusations of harassment and misconduct with a job candidate in 2013, the New York Times also reported.

On the Twitter account for @GoogleWalkout, there’s a list of demands from employees, including to end private arbitration in instances of sexual harassment and assault— private arbitration can sometimes entail confidentiality agreements. 

During the conference, Pichai acknowledged that there’s anger an frustration among employees.

“Moments like this show that we didn’t always get it right,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Pichai was also asked about the perception that Google employees drive big decisions at the company– like involvement with military contracts. 

“We don’t run the company by referendum,” he said. 

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