Warren Buffett often says that he’s looking for businesses that a ham sandwich could run.
James Damore, the Google guy who wrote the Idealogical Echo Chamber memo and was roundly abused and promptly fired last August, has taken out a class action lawsuit against Google. It alleges that he and another Google employee were “ostracized, belittled, and punished for their heterodox political views, and for the added sin of their birth circumstances of being Caucasians and/or males.”
Sin, huh? Powerful stuff. You can read or download the full complaint at the bottom of this post, and it makes a clear investment case to me, and I’m sure to Warren Buffett.
The claim includes heaps of screenshots of hilarious internal Google communications. Put alleged in front of these, probably:
- Google’s HR department accused a conservative employee of “inciting violence” after he stated that he would teach traditional gender roles to his children.
- The “Google Recognition Team” awarded the coveted “Peer Bonus” for outstanding work performance to employees that argued against Damore’s views, for “speaking up for google values and promoting [diversity and inclusion] in the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is [Damore’s Memo].”
- “Feel free to pass this along to HR. Keep them in the loop for all I care. May as well do it early. You’re a misogynist and a terrible human. I will keep hounding you until one of us is fired. F*ck you.”
- At one of Google’s weekly company-wide meetings the presence of white males at the company was openly booed by employees.
- At a Google weekly meeting titled, “Women’s History Month,” Google brought in two presenters, Ruth Porate, the CFO and Eileen Naughton, the HR director. They noted that some departments at Google had less female employees than male employees and shamed those that didn’t have gender parity, before explaining Google takes gender and ethnicity into account when deciding promotions within the company, and that Google’s racial and gender requirements during interviews were not up for debate. It did not say if they also announced that that was how they got their promotions.
- An employee sexually identifies as “a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin”, and as “an expansive ornate building” during a company talk on “Living as a Plural Being”.
- Google has a mailing list for plural employees, including “furries”.
- An employee suggested “trials” for people who “make diversity difficult”. Other emails contain ludicrous death threats.
- There are references to woe and tantrum after Trump was elected.
- An employee suggested that Google should use its influence to ensure there is no more than one white male on any conference panels. “When the cheesy white male is in the green room glaring at you because he’s been bounced in favour of a woman on his team, you’ll feel pretty damn smug.”
The lawsuit is full of these. It’s high comedy, and I strongly recommend you have a read.
But here’s the investment case. This kind of batshit insanity has obviously been cultivated and allowed over many years. People apparently have the time to hold company-wide meetings about dribble on a weekly basis, and spend a solid amount of time talking garbage online with other employees, none of which has anything to do with the business itself.
Yet Google continues to print money – it’s doubled its revenue in six years, and near trebled its profit. It is forecast to top $100 billion in revenue this year, and exceed $35 billion in profit, making them the second most profitable American company. They have about $70 billion in net cash. 90% of their revenue is from advertising.
To do that, with all of this horseshit sucking up employee time, that seems to me like a business that a ham sandwich could run. In fact, its possible that there was a ham sandwich at the “Living as a Plural Being” seminar.
I expect Buffett to be buying up big any day now. I will be.
Here’s the full text: