PagerDuty CEO apologizes after quoting Martin Luther King Jr. in layoff announcement

PagerDuty CEO apologizes after quoting Martin Luther King Jr. in layoff announcement

The CEO of a tech firm apologized for quoting civil rights chief Martin Luther King Jr. in an e-mail that introduced she was chopping 7% of its workforce. Her e-mail sparked a backlash from critics, with one skilled calling it a “new low bar for a layoff announcement.”

PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada wrote in a 1,700-word e-mail that the digital operations administration firm was making just a few different adjustments, together with selling some executives and trimming spending. Tejada’s e-mail was additionally posted on the corporate’s web site.

Toward the top of the announcement, Tejada stated the second reminded her of Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote that “the last word measure of a [leader] shouldn’t be the place [they] stand in the moments of consolation and comfort, however the place [they] stand in instances of problem and controversy.” 

The missive drew sturdy criticism on social media, with observers calling the e-mail “tone deaf” and “disgusting.” Tejada’s communication, which veers between grim corporate-speak reminiscent of calling the layoffs “refinements,” and optimistic feedback in regards to the “deeply proficient people who #ConveyThemselves” to work, comes after a string of tech layoffs which have been criticized as lacking compassion and humanity.

“All time traditional dangerous layoff announcement: CEO of PagerDuty opens with ‘Hi Dutonians,’ takes 370 phrases to get to the layoffs bit, continues for an additional *1250 phrases*, and ends with “I’m reminded in moments like this, of one thing Martin Luther King stated …” famous Tom Gara, a know-how communications supervisor at Meta, in a tweet. 

On Friday, Tejada amended the e-mail with a brief put up on her firm’s web site, saying that utilizing King’s quote was ” inappropriate and insensitive.”

“There are plenty of issues I’d do in another way if I may,” Tejada wrote. “The quote I included from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was inappropriate and insensitive. I ought to have been extra upfront in regards to the layoffs in the e-mail, extra considerate about my tone, and extra concise. I’m sorry.”

Others stated the unique e-mail felt prefer it had been written by ChatGPT, and one critic described it as “hid[ing] the human toll behind a smokescreen of jargon and passive voice.”