2 min read

Liz Fong-Jones has been a key figure in the politicization of Silicon Valley over the last 18 months. But the Developer Advocate at Google Cloud Platform revealed today (3rd January 2018) that she is to leave the company in February, citing Google’s lack of leadership in response to the demands made by employees during the Google walkout in November 2018.

Fong-Jones hinted that she had found another role before Christmas, writing on Twitter that she had found a new job:

That was confirmed today when Fong-Jones tweeted “Resignation letter is in. February 25 is my last day.” Her new role hasn’t yet been revealed, but it appears that she will be remain within SRE. She told one follower that she will likely be at SRECon in Dublin later in the year.

She made it clear that she had no issue with her team, stating that her decision to leave was instead “a reflection on what Google’s become over the 11 years I’ve worked there.”

Why Liz Fong-Jones exit from Google is important

Fong-Jones exit from Google doesn’t reflect well on the company. If anything, it only serves to highlight the company’s stubbornness. Despite months to respond to serious allegations of sexual harassment and systemic discrimination, there appears to be a refusal to acknowledge problems, let alone find a way forward to tackle them.

From Fong-Jones perspective, it the move is probably as much pragmatic as it is symbolic. She spoke on Twitter of “burnout” at “doing what has to be done, as second shift work.”

While there are clearly personal reasons for Fong-Jones to leave Google, because of her importance as a figure in conversations around tech worker rights and diversity, her exit will have significant symbolic power. It’s likely that she’ll continue to play an important part in helping tech workers – in Silicon Valley and elsewhere – organize for a better future, even as she aims to do “more of what you want to do”.

Co-editor of the Packt Hub. Interested in politics, tech culture, and how software and business are changing each other.