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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Apple fires engineering manager Ashley Gjøvik for allegedly violating company’s rules

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Apple on Thursday fired its senior engineering program manager Ashley Gjøvik for allegedly violating company’s policies on leaking private corporate information. Gjøvik has been saying on Twitter how she feels about how Apple handles situations of sexism and harassment among its employees.

Last month, Gjøvik said in an interview about how she had been raising concerns about sexism at Apple for years while the company never offered her an ideal solution to the problem. The engineer has been placed on indefinite administrative leave, and she is now officially no longer an Apple employee.

As reported by The Verge and also shared by the engineer on Twitter, Apple reached out to Gjøvik earlier today regarding a “sensitive Intellectual Property matter.” The company informed her about the urgency of a call and also mentioned that her “cooperation and participation is imperative.”

Gjøvik responded to Apple’s email asking to keep the discussion written as she wanted to forward the correspondence to the National Labor Relations Board. An Apple representative then answered that since she chose not to participate in the discussion, they would suspend her access from Apple’s systems. Hours later, she was informed that her contract with Apple was being terminated.

The employee relations representative responded to say that because she had chosen not to participate in the discussion, they would move forward with the information they had and — “given the seriousness of these allegations” — suspend her access to Apple systems. Hours later, Gjøvik received an email that her employment at Apple was being terminated, effective tomorrow.

In addition to the issues about harassment and sexism, the engineer also reported how she felt uncomfortable with some of Apple’s privacy policies — which include letting the company access employees’ personal information stored on their devices and personal Apple ID.

An Apple spokesperson told The Verge that the company “have always been deeply committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive workplace,” but that “whenever a concern is raised and, out of respect for the privacy of any individuals involved, we do not discuss specific employee matters.”

Meanwhile, NLRB is investigating Apple following Ashley’s complaints and also other claims by Cher Scarlett, another Apple engineer who promoted an internal survey at Apple about the wage gap between men and women.

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