Google Changed Work Culture. Its Former Hype Woman Has Regrets.

Hosted by Lulu Garcia-Navarro

Produced by Wyatt Orme and Derek Arthur

Edited by Anabel Bacon and Kaari Pitkin

Engineered by Pat McCusker

Original music by Isaac Jones, Sonia Herrero, Pat McCusker and Carole Sabouraud

Listen to and follow ‘First Person’
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The tech giants’ offices were once heralded as the workplaces of the future. Their employees enjoyed previously unheard-of perks, like free farm-to-table lunches, on-site laundry and weekly massages, all lavished on them as they set about designing the technologies transforming the world.

Claire Stapleton joined Google in 2007, during the height of the techno-optimism boom, and fell in love with the company. Over the next 12 years, she created corporate messaging and managed the company’s image, internally and externally. But during this time, she also witnessed it fall painfully short of its utopian promises and, as the world soured on Big Tech, she did, too.

Stapleton left Google in 2019. Now she writes an advice column for tech workers questioning their place in the industry, especially in recent months, as the sector reels from mass layoffs. She says the turbulence in Silicon Valley offers bigger lessons for workers in other industries about how we should find purpose in our work — and the kinds of meaning we can’t expect to find in a corporation.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Credit…ljubaphoto/Getty Images

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected]. Follow Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Twitter: @lourdesgnavarro

“First Person” was produced this week by Wyatt Orme with help from Derek Arthur. It was edited by Anabel Bacon and Kaari Pitkin. Mixing by Pat McCusker. Original music by Isaac Jones, Sonia Herrero, Pat McCusker and Carole Sabouraud. Fact-checking by Mary Marge Locker, Michelle Harris and Kate Sinclair. The rest of the “First Person” team includes Stephanie Joyce, Olivia Natt, Rhiannon Corby, Sophia Alvarez Boyd and Jillian Weinberger. Special thanks to Kristina Samulewski, Shannon Busta, Allison Benedikt, Annie-Rose Strasser and Katie Kingsbury.

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