Google CEO Pichai cancels 'town hall' on gender dispute

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Google CEO Sundar Pichai has canceled an internal town hall meant to address gender discrimination on Thursday after employee questions for management began to leak online from the company's internal messaging service.

Pichai said in an email to staff that several Google employees became fearful for their safety and grew concerned about being outed for speaking up at the town hall.

He said the company will aim to create several other forums "where people can feel comfortable to speak freely."

The town hall was meant to hear out employee grievances over a flareup that began last weekend after engineer James Damore circulated a memo that claimed biological gender differences helped explain why women are underrepresented at the company. Google fired Damore on Monday.