Google’s head of human resources is resigning, the company announced today. Google said Eileen Naughton, who joined Google in 2006 and became its vice president of people operations four years ago, will move to a different role at the company, but did not say when the transition will occur.
In a statement to the press, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said, “Over the past 13 years, Eileen has made major contributions to the company in numerous areas, from media partnerships, to leading our UK operations, to leading our People Operations team through a period of significant growth—during which over 70,000 people have started their careers at Google. We’re grateful to Eileen for all she’s done and look forward to her next chapter at Google.”
Naughton said in her own statement that she is leaving the role for family reasons: “My husband and I have decided—after six years on the road, first in London and now San Francisco—to return home to New York to be closer to our family. I’m at the very beginning of the process, and wanted to let everyone know upfront, as I’ll be working with Sundar and Ruth [Porat, Google’s CFO] to find a great leader for the People Operations team.”
During Naughton’s years as head of human resources, Google has weathered a series of clashes with its workforce.
The company’s alleged handling of sexual harassment claims lead to mass walkouts at offices around the world, and several employees later claimed that they were wrongfully terminated in retaliation for labor organizing.
Google has also been criticized for diversity issues, including low retention rates of black, Latinx and Native employees. Last November, the company changed its all-hands meeting policy in a bid to prevent leaks to the media.
Measures taken by Google over the same period to address labor issues include more benefits for contractors, an updated process for reporting misconduct and the end of forced arbitration for employees.