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Googlers Miffed on Pay Speak Out in Rare Annual Meeting Move

  • Employees wanted compensation tied to diversity, other metrics
  • Shareholder proposal on pay fails to pass; board opposed it
Google Fires Employee Behind Controversial Diversity Memo

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

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Alphabet Inc.’s annual meeting was turned on its head Wednesday when an employee of Google, the company’s internet division, took the stage to criticize her bosses’ pay.

Irene Knapp, a software engineer for the web-search giant, presented a proposal at Wednesday’s annual shareholder meeting in Mountain View, California, on behalf of Zevin Asset Management, which submitted the measure. They requested Alphabet consider certain metrics in incentive plans, with a focus on diversity and inclusion in the workforce. Though the proposal was voted down, it’s highly unusual for staff to even comment at annual meetings, let alone to chide their leaders.