In a memo to employees on Thursday afternoon, Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said he canceled the meeting after questions to be asked at the meeting were posted online, raising concerns that employees identified in the leak would be harassed.
According to a report in Recode, Pichai canceled the meeting because a number of employees were anxious about online harassment, as some of those employees have already found their names appearing on so-called alt-right websites. An email sent to an address believed to be used by Damore was not immediately returned; Google declined to comment.
Despite circulating internally at Google for more a month, Damore became a lightening rod after Gizmodo published the memo in full over the weekend.
Pichai said it was very important that more women and girls had the opportunity to "learn how to participate in technology, and code, create, and innovate". "If a leader doesn't do that, they don't get the kind of engagement and commitment from employees".
The resulting firestorm rippled across Google and Silicon Valley, leaving the company scrambling at times to keep pace. He criticized Google for being an "ideological echo chamber" that made it hard to dissent from the company's "left bias" and "politically correct monoculture".
He reflected on how Silicon Valley culture discourages the airing of right-leaning sentiments. Damore himself has filed a complaint with federal labor officials and has threatened to sue the company under California law.
"We had hoped to have a frank, open discussion today as we always do to bring us together and move forward".
As Pichai wrote in the email, he has received anxious messages from several "Googlers" expressing concern for their well-being, according to the New York Times. We'll have details on what happens at the meeting as soon as we can.
Many slammed Damore over the e-mail, with colleague Andrew Bonventre writing: "That garbage fire of a document is trash and you are (sic) wonderful coworkers who I am extremely lucky to work with".
Damore told Peterson he has mostly declined to speak to the mainstream news outlets because they will "twist whatever I say towards their agenda".