Google was forced to continue fighting off the backlash from the leak of a controversial internal memo last weekend, after it emerged it had terminated the author's contract.
The male employee dragged the Silicon Valley stalwarts into an ever-escalating crisis after his claims that women were biologically unsuited to tech leadership roles went viral.
Google was left flailing as it sought to establish which side of the gender equality vs. free speech debate it most identified with.
In comms terms, this was surely a lose-lose situation: As Google continues to seek to extricate itself from the extremist content row, which saw the online giant suffer mass ad revenue losses over its failure to regulate the nature of content adverts appeared alongside, it struggles to reconcile its new-found policing responsibilities with its historic reputation as a neutral host of online content.
The revelation that the employee in question is seeking "all possible legal remedies" to right the wrong of his dismissal for "perpetuating gender stereotypes" only further entrenches the perception that Google has put political correctness ahead of free speech.
Ultimately, as the US tech industry wakes up to the news that only 23% of employees in tech start-ups are female, rising to just 36% at their more established counterparts, Google is unlikely to want to become the posterboy for tech workplace sexism.
Mr Pichai, in an email to employees on Monday, said: “We strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it.” However, he added that saying “a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK”, and was against the company’s code of conduct.