The news was announced by Margaret Mitchell herself on her Twitter account. She was reportedly locked out of her accounts over an investigation related to her objections concerning the controversial firing of her fellow co-lead Timnit.
A Google spokesperson made it known that an investigation was being carried out concerning Mitchell allegedly sharing internal company files.
Our security systems automatically lock an employee’s corporate account when they detect that the account is at risk of compromise due to credential problems or when an automated rule involving the handling of sensitive data has been triggered. In this instance, yesterday our systems detected that an account had exfiltrated thousands of files and shared them with multiple external accounts. We explained this to the employee earlier today.Google spokesperson
The firing of Timnit Gebru became a national headline throughout the AI community which is widely viewed as a move to remove voices of dissent when those voices, world renowned ethicists hired specifically to investigate and oversee the ethical development and deployment of Google’s AI systems do not say what Google wants to hear.
However, more information leading to the termination of Mitchell’s contract are still coming up even though there might be suggestions that the decision to let her go are due to the outcome of the internal investigations.
Update 2:38PM PST 19 February: Google’s official statement on the matter, per this Axios article:
“After conducting a review of this manager’s conduct, we confirmed that there were multiple violations of our code of conduct, as well as of our security policies, which included the exfiltration of confidential business-sensitive documents and private data of other employees.”