In it, Damore accused Google of a left-wing bias, questioned the effectiveness of its diversity programs, and suggested that biology, not just sexism, may contribute to the lack of women in tech and leadership roles.
There were a number of defining moments throughout this tense week at Google. There are about 87,000 Google groups - essentially email lists formed around a central theme - and more than 8,000 discussion groups like "misc" - short for miscellaneous - where employees debate and disagree on topics ranging from the optimal temperature in the office to the brand of laundry detergent the company should use for washing employee towels.
My objective here instead is to relate another Google bias-claims-and-employee-privacy story from last month, which would have counted as fairly significant news in its own right had it not soon been eclipsed by the memo episode. With one lengthy post, a Google employee ignited a fierce debate about the company's culture.
Google has drawn severe criticism over firing James Damore as several anti-Google Ads have popped-up in public places across the streets of Venice. Google said he had crossed the line "by advancing harmful gender stereotypes" and many employees were upset about the views outlined in the memo.
"An engineer fired for simply expressing an opinion that ran counter to Google's politically-charged atmosphere of an "Ideological Echo Chamber" as (Damore) put it". The company is building a new VR headset to follow the Daydream View and Cardboard, which was so popular that Google has shipped over 10 million of its cheap, do-it-yourself headsets since their debut in 2014.
The op-ed comes a day after Google CEO Sundar Pichai was supposed to hash it all out in an all-hands meeting with the company's more than 60,000 employees.
A number of employees sent emails to Pichai and told managers that they planned to skip the meeting because they were anxious that they would face online reprisals for speaking out.
Damore has emerged as a hero of conservative media.
Damore's Twitter account has nearly 60,000 followers despite starting days ago.
The US National Labor Relations Act guarantees workers, whether they are in a union or not, the right to engage in "concerted activities" for their "mutual aid or protection".
One of the world's leading philosophers, Peter Singer, believes that Google was wrong in firing Damore. Meanwhile, Google is facing a lawsuit by the Department of Labor that alleges it underpaid female employees. But on external websites, some Google employees who had spoken out against Damore's memo were being harassed.
Inside Google, the memo and its fallout represent perhaps the biggest setback to what has been a foundational premise for employees: the freedom to speak up about anything and everything. It signifies their belief that liberals stifle free speech by humiliating right-wing voices.