The search giant ousted the former head of international relations at Google on Thursday, local time, after he struggled to implement the company’s official human rights program,media reported. Ross LaJeunese, who is running for Democratic senator in Maine, was a key figure in Google’s decision to pull out of the Chinese search market in 2010.
LaJeunesse points out that he found himself defending human rights in China again in 2017 after learning about a project called “Dragonfly.” In response, he suggested a company-wide human rights project that would publicly acknowledge Google’s adherence to certain principles and allow product and engineering teams to seek human rights reviews of their projects.
“But every time I recommend a human rights program, executives make excuses to say no,” he wrote in a post on Medium. Then I realized that the company had never intended to incorporate human rights principles into its business and product decisions. Just as Google needed to redouble its commitment to human rights, it decided to turn to higher profits and higher share prices. “
LaJeunese said he was “sidelined” after pushing the plan. It is understood that LaJeunese joined Google in 2008 and left in April this year.
In response, a Google spokesman said: “We have a strong commitment to supporthuman groups and efforts. This commitment has nothing to do with or affect the restructuring of our policy team. However, this situation has been widely reported and affects many members of the team. As part of the restructuring, Ross was offered exactly the same position and compensation as he did, but he refused. “
Mr LaJeunese’s comments on Thursday come as Google grapples with severe market turmoil. For now, the company is under antitrust investigation from state and federal officials. In addition, tensions between Google’s management and its employees are escalating.