Kara Swisher broke the news yesterday that the former head of search at Google, Amit Singhal, actually left Google due to a dispute over sexual harassment allegations. Amit Singhal denies the fact that he left for that reason.
Amit Singhal said in a statement:
Harassment is unacceptable in any setting. I certainly want everyone to know that I do not condone and have not committed such behavior. In my 20-year career, Iâve never been accused of anything like this before and the decision to leave Google was my own.
So he didn’t deny the dispute and he said it was the first time he was accused of such behavior.
But In late November 2015 he celebrated 15 years at Google and made it sound like he was sticking around for much longer. Then a couple months later, shocked us by saying he is leaving Google and we had no idea why. He then spent a year doing charity work in India and then recently joined Uber. Then this news broke that he was let go from Uber because “he did not disclose to the car-hailing company that he left Google a year earlier after top executives there informed him of an allegation of sexual harassment from an employee that an internal investigation had found credible,” said Recode.
Erica Joy use to work at Google years and years ago, I don’t think she interfaced with Amit at all. But she said on Twitter:
— EricaJoy (@EricaJoy) February 27, 2017
Honestly, it is upsetting to even read these allegations. Could it be false? Of course. But like I said when he left Google, “I just get the feeling, a gut feeling, he wasn’t done. I am not sure why I get that feeling.” It seems to me he was not done and he had to step aside.
I do not know Amit personally. I’ve spoken with him several times professionally around the algorithm. But I do not know him personally to say either way.
He was a man in a very high position at Google and sometimes that leads people to make bad decisions and sometimes that leads people to be targeted for money over a lawsuit. I do not know either way.
Many folks in the industry asked me my thoughts. I have no thoughts outside of this just being so sad.