Vanity Fair published an article yesterday that has all of Silicon Valley, and the rest of the world talking about Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s troubling behavior.
The article, written by reporter Adam Fisher, includes excerpts from the book “Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley,” that describe questionable behavior during the early days of Google’s inception.
Fisher’s article contains an excerpt from the book claiming Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin was considered to be somewhat of a “playboy” by several female employees.
Charlie Ayers, a former executive chef for Google, recalled in an excerpt: “He was known for getting his fingers caught in the cookie jar with employees that worked for the company in the masseuse room. He got around.”
Ayers said in the excerpt that when Google’s human-resources department raised questions regarding Brin’s behavior, Brin himself suggested that he was entitled to interact with his employees however he saw fit.
“HR told me that Sergey’s response to it was, ‘Why not? They’re my employees,” Ayers recalled. “But you don’t have employees for f***king! That’s not what the job is.”
In 2013, Sergey Brin divorced his wife and mother of their two children, 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, when he began a adulterous affair with Amanda Rosenberg, who was a then-27-year-old public relations manager at Google. Wojcicki was senior vice president in charge of product management and engineering at Google when the affair with Rosenberg began.
Another employee, Heather Cairns, who was only the fourth person to be hired by Google, described the culture as “sexually tense.”
“Remember, we’re a bunch of twentysomethings except for me–ancient at 35–so there’s some hormones and they’re raging,” she said.
Cairns said she also found Brin’s exploits to be disturbing.
“Oh my God, this is a sexual harassment claim waiting to happen! That was my concern,” she recollected in the excerpt.
This is not the first time Google has made headlines over claims of sexual harassment in the workplace. Just this past March, a former Google engineer filed a lawsuit against the search engine giant, claiming both sexual harassment as well as gender discrimination.
Loretta Lee, during her seven years at Google’s Mountain View offices in California, alleges that male coworkers regularly “spiked her drinks with whiskey and laughed about it,” as well as coming into work and finding a male coworker hidden under her desk. The very next day, the same man “grazed her breasts” with his hand, while under the guise of looking at her name badge that hung on a lanyard around her neck, according to the New York Post.
“Googles bro-culture contributed to plaintiff’s suffering frequent sexual harassment and gender discrimination, for which Google failed to take corrective action,” the suit claims.
The engineer also claimed she received “disturbing and bizarre messages” from male coworkers, including one text where she was asked if she wanted a “horizontal hug.”
Those in Silicon Valley seem to think they’re above reproach and treat females in the workplace, as well as in the community as commodities.
The book release comes on the heels of another recent scandal involving Sergey Brin, and co-founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent venture capital firms, Steve Jurvetson.
Over the weekend, Jurvetson posted several photos on Twitter of himself and friends sailing on a Maltese Falcon, one of the world’s largest sailboats.
According to the now deleted tweet, those sailing in the waters of Ibiza alongside Jurvetson were two female start-up founders, Khaliya, and Genevieve Lydstone, as well as Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Reports indicated that Jurvetson left Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) after an investigation uncovered “a pattern of dishonesty with women,” according to a report in Recode.
There were also accusations made that Jurvetson had behaved inappropriately and thrown wild sex parties that included upwards of 100 to 150 people.
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