Another one bites the dust: Google’s chief diversity officer departs with gusto

Google’s chief diversity officer, Danielle Brown, has left the company to go work at Gusto.


April 15, 2019

Danielle Brown is leaving Google after serving not-quite 2 years as VP of employee engagement and CDO. 

Brown will be joining Gusto as chief people officer. Her announcement, in which she describes Gusto as “a company that is all about people,” does not mention Google. 

Do we smell intrigue?

Possibly. Google’s diversity department has been somewhat of a revolving door recently. The last out was Nancy Lee, who attempted to address Google’s weak diversity numbers for several years before leaving in 2016.

When she left, she claimed she was retiring, but soon after joined Lime. “Awkward move, Nancy. We literally know everything.” – Google, probably. 

The tech giant, which has long faced criticism for its lack of diversity, was thrown into the spotlight shortly after Brown’s arrival when a since-fired Google engineer posted an anti-diversity manifesto.

A quick stroll down diversity-and-inclusion-mishap lane

The memo became somewhat of a tipping point for the inclusion sh*tstorm that’s been raging ever since, with complaints and discrimination lawsuits flying on all sides over gender pay gap claims and workplace rights.

There was also a boycott over military contracts and a 20k-employee walkout over the company’s handling of sexual harassment claims against high-level googly-eyed execs. 

News of Brown’s departure comes shortly after the release of Google’s 2018 diversity reports, which garnered a collective “meh.” The CDO role will be filled by Melonie Parker, who has served as head of diversity for 9 months.

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