Way to kill the feel-good buzz, Google

Search giant fires employee who leaked memo about 10% raises, cash bonuses for all workers

Online search giant Google has dismissed the employee who leaked the internal memo announcing that the company was giving its more than 23,000 employees 10 percent raises starting Jan. 1 and $1,000 cash bonuses for the upcoming holiday season (and even paying the taxes on the bonus). From CNNMoney:

Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced the salary hike in a memo late Tuesday, a copy of which was obtained by Fortune. The memo was also leaked to Business Insider, which broke the news. Within hours, Google notified its staff that it had terminated the leaker, several sources told CNNMoney. A Google spokesman declined to comment on the issue, or on the memo. Time to find the "several sources" and fire them too! Honestly, this strikes me as ham-fisted and pointless, a dissonant coda. Yes, I'm sure Google has a policy prohibiting leaking news of internal matters, as do most large public companies. So what? It's not like the leaker let out word of impending layoffs, or an upcoming acquisition, or some years-long project that resulted in the illegal collection of personal information from millions of people around the world. Indeed, this was news that made Google look not good, but great in the eyes of non-Googlers who have lost jobs, had their salaries cut, or even just live in fear of being laid off during troubled economic times. Shouldn't intent and effect count for something? And does Google actually believe it can send a significant memo to more than 23,000 people and have it not leak out? It's utterly delusional. So you found out who the leaker of the feel-good memo was? Goody for you. Great detective work. Now give him or her a stern lecture, or maybe a one-week suspension. Put something in their personnel file. Or better yet, ignore it. Anything but fire them. It's bush league, not to mention bad PR. Don't be evil? How about "Don't be dumb"?

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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