Shirin Ghaffary at Recode reports that Google’s head of HR, Eileen Naughton, is stepping down.
Executive leadership changes happen at major companies all the time — but at Google, Naughton’s move is notable because she was a key figure responsible for dealing with an unprecedented level of internal employee turmoil and dissent. In recent years, Google workers feuded among themselves and with management over issues ranging from the company’s alleged mishandling of executive sexual harassment cases to its crackdown on employee speech in the workplace. Naughton is also the fourth long-tenured Google executive, including the company’s cofounders, to step down from an executive position or resign altogether in recent months.
Google’s main internal problem, from my outside point-of-view, is that the things they are best at—software and services—are not really their business. They are just Google’s bait. Their business is online advertising, and that business is at odds, in many respects, with quality software and user-focused services.