Google Parts Ways With Cloudera Cofounder – Report

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Executive Amr Awadallah reportedly departs from Google Cloud, after staff complaints over leadership style and personal manifesto

Google has parted ways with Amr Awadallah, the co-founder of Cloudera who had joined Google Cloud in 2019.

According to CNBC, Awadallah stepped down from his position as VP of developer relations for Google Cloud, after clashing with staff over his leadership style, and his public manifesto in which he allegedly confessed about his previous antisemitism.

Google has experience some staff unrest in the past 8 months. In February this year two Google engineers resigned, both of whom cited the ‘firing’ of AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru last year.

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Amr Awadallah

Awadallah is a known figure in the cloud industry, thanks in part to him being a co-founder of Cloudera, as well as its CTO.

But now Google Cloud has said that it has parted ways with Amr Awadallah, after a reported contentious all-hands meeting.

“I wanted to share that today is Amr Awadallah’s last day at Google,” wrote VP of Engineering & Product for Google Cloud Eyal Manor in an email to staff Thursday evening and viewed by CNBC. “Effective immediately, the Cloud DevRel organisation will report into Ben Jackson, who will report into Pali Bhat.”

Manor then went onto praise the team for helping Cloud’s “massive growth” while thanking them for reaching out about cultural issues.

He also acknowledged that a number of organisational changes and leadership transitions had been challenging, more so during the pandemic.

According to CNBC, Awadallah had written a 10,000-word manifesto about his previous anti-semitism on LinkedIn in June entitled “We Are One”, during which he reportedly sought to explain why he had been wrong.

Staff meeting

CNBC reportedly spoke with a number of unidentified Google Cloud employees who described a contentious staff meeting on Wednesday, which touched on the manifesto.

CNBC also viewed internal documentation of complaints.

Google declined to comment on the matter.

According to CNBC, in his June manifesto, Awadallah allegedly recounted how he became enlightened after he “hated all jews.”

He apparently listed all the Jews he knew that were good people, as part of his acknowledgement that his prior prejudice was wrong.

Awadallah reportedly describes how he was “cautious” of VMware co-founder Mendel Rosenblum based on his last name, but that he learned to appreciate them after getting to know him and spouse and other VMware co-founder (and former Google Cloud CEO) Diane Greene.

Both of them became Cloudera investors.

But CNBC reported that Google staff said his public admission made it difficult for public-facing developer advocates, who are tasked with being the face for Google developers internally and externally.

Google staff also reportedly said they often faced reprimand for far less offensive for social media posts.

Employees also said the frustration with Awadallah’s leadership style had been building for months, leading up to an all-hands meeting this week, where employees confronted him about their discomfort with his manifesto, working with him, and the leadership attrition of his reporting leaders.

The meeting, employees said, required mediation from a HR staffer, who had to step in several times.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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