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Google Removes Diversity Executive Over Blog Post About Jews


Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.



Photo:

Cayce Clifford for The Wall Street Journal

Google removed a senior member of its diversity team over anti-Semitic remarks in a 2007 blog post, marking the second time in a month that a big tech company has been forced to make a staffing change in the wake of public outcry over an executive’s previous writing.

The subsidiary of

Alphabet Inc.

GOOG -0.69%

hired Kamau Bobb in 2018 as global lead of diversity strategy and research, a decade after he published a blog post titled “If I Were a Jew.”

In it Mr. Bobb, a recent Ph.D. graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, wrote that if he were Jewish that he would “be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself.”

The blog post surfaced this week in several news outlets, including the Washington Free Beacon.

In a statement, a Google spokeswoman condemned the post and acknowledged that it had caused “deep offense and pain to members of our Jewish community.”

Kamau Bobb at a panel in 2017.



Photo:

Cheriss May/NurPhoto/Zuma Press

“These writings are unquestionably hurtful,” the spokeswoman said. “The author acknowledges this and has apologized.”

The spokeswoman said Mr. Bobb would no longer be part of the diversity team, led by Chief Diversity Officer Melonie Parker. He instead will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics work.

Mr. Bobb didn’t respond to requests for comment.

In an email sent this week to a group of Jewish workers at Google, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Bobb apologized for the 2007 post, saying that the way he expressed his views “were hurtful.” He explained that he was trying to critique military action. “None of this changes or excuses the words i [sic] wrote,” he said.

Mr. Bobb’s reassignment at Google follows

Apple Inc.’s

ouster of a prominent advertising executive after employees circulated a letter complaining about sexist and misogynistic passages in a memoir he wrote about his time at

Facebook.

The executive, Antonio García Martínez, accused the company of making defamatory and false statements.

Write to Tripp Mickle at Tripp.Mickle@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the June 4, 2021, print edition as ‘Google Reassigns Diversity Executive.’



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