Self-Righteous CEO Quotes MLK While Laying Off Employees

( The CEO of a digital operations management company was forced to apologize for including a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. in a letter announcing company layoffs.

On January 24, PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada sent a letter to employees announcing that the company would be eliminating about 7 percent of its workforce. At the end of the letter, Tejada said she was reminded of “something Martin Luther King said” and quoted King’s words that the measure of a leader is not where he stands in “moments of comfort and convenience,” but in “times of challenge and controversy.”

But after facing criticism for quoting MLK to announce people were losing their jobs, on January 27, Tejada apologized.

In an updated version of the letter published on PagerDuty’s website, Tejada said it was “inappropriate and insensitive” to include a quote from MLK. She said she should have been “more upfront about the layoffs in the email” and “more thoughtful” in her tone.

The Tech industry has been hammered with layoffs in recent weeks.

Amazon, which already announced layoff plans in the fall, announced in early January that it was expanding cuts to eliminate 18,000 jobs, most of them in retail and recruiting.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy blamed the layoffs on the “uncertain economy” and the company’s rapid hiring in recent years. During the pandemic, Amazon enjoyed tremendous growth as people shifted to online shopping. But as people returned to in-person shopping, Amazon’s growth began slowing.

Additionally, Google’s parent company Alphabet announced late last month that it was laying off 12,000 employees.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the company had been hiring for “different economic reality” and was restructuring to focus on the company’s more important businesses.

The layoffs hit Alphabet’s Area 120 incubator hard, with the majority of workers losing their jobs. Other brands like Intrinsic and Verily also lost a significant portion of their workforce.