clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Recode Daily: Google’s brand-new head of diversity gets a quick trial by fire after an anti-diversity memo goes viral

Plus, Apple is untethering Apple Watch from the iPhone and inventor Ray Kurzweil is using AI to write your emails.

Danielle Brown, Google’s VP of diversity, integrity and governance
Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images

Googles new head of diversity started just a few weeks ago, and was quickly faced with handling a controversial, sexist, anti-diversity internal memo that went viral within and outside of the company. Recode’s Kara Swisher has a wrap-up of the affair, complete with the original memo and Google VP of diversity, integrity and governance Danielle Brown’s quick response to Googlers. And a recent ex-Googler offers this clarifying inside perspective on the divisive manifesto. [Kara Swisher / Recode]

Apple is working on an untethered version of its smartwatch that can connect directly to cellular networks with Intel-made LTE chips, reducing its reliance on the iPhone to perform most of its useful functions, including streaming music and sending messages on the go. The more independent Apple Watch may be released before the end of the year. [Bloomberg]

WeWork, the flexible office space startup, has raised another $500 million. SoftBank is one of the investors, which makes sense because SoftBank invests in everything — and because the money will help WeWork expand in Asia. [press release]

Facebook is testing a new “civic engagement feature that inserts posts from local politicians into users’ News Feeds — even if they don’t follow those politicians. Meanwhile, Facebook made $188,000 per employee last quarter — it had 20,658 at the time — beating out Google parent company Alphabet by more than four times the profit per employee. Twitter, on the other hand, lost about $36,000 per employee. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg isn’t running for president — he’s said so explicitly and repeatedly. But he’s kind of acting like he’s preparing to run, with that year-long trek across America feeding cows and showing up at family dinner tables. So — just in case — here’s a rundown of where candidate Zuckerberg stands on the issues, from the environment to the economy to tech and internet safety. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Inventor Ray Kurzweil is always up to something fascinating — he’s best known for popularizing the idea of the singularity and, more recently, for investigating techniques for longevity and immortality. Now he’s leading a Google AI team powering Smart Reply, a feature on the Gmail mobile app that offers three suggested email replies for you to select with a tap. Of course there’s a big idea behind it: Understanding language itself and creating software as linguistically fluent as you or me. [Tom Simonite / Wired]

Recode presents ...

For this week’s Too Embarrassed to Ask podcast, Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode are interviewing Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown about his company’s meat-free hamburger. Have questions about what the company is working on, or about the intersection of food and tech? Email them today to

Top stories from Recode

Pauly Shore takes the White House communications parody torch from Melissa McCarthy.

“She’s not holding a book, she’s holding an iPad.”

Top U.S. tech companies founded by immigrants are worth over $3 trillion.

A look at these companies’ current values and employee numbers.

Even with all our gadgets, Americans are using less electricity than 10 years ago.

Electronic devices are getting smaller and more energy-efficient.

Snap stock is up after the world’s biggest ad buyer said it will spend even more money on Snapchat.

WPP says it plans to double spending on Snap ads this year.

You don’t have to be like Steve Jobs to be a great entrepreneur.

On the latest Recode Decode, Chris Kuenne and John Danner talk with Kara Swisher about their new book, “Built for Growth: How Builder Personality Shapes Your Business, Your Team, and Your Ability to Win,” arguing that winning entrepreneurs come in many personality types, and those personalities shape the sort of company they build.

This is cool

The least-secret club in Silicon Valley

Look inside the world of “coasters” and “resters and vesters” — the millionaire engineers who get paid gobs of money and barely work, while waiting for their stock to vest. Even with days that start at 11 a.m. and continue with long lunches, the workstyle has its own unique stress points. [Julie Bort / Business Insider]

This article originally appeared on