Home / News / World /  'Stand in times of challenge...': CEO uses Martin Luther King to defend layoffs, forced to apologise

The tech-driven industry is in a phase of layoffs and sometimes it's difficult for the management to convey the difficult message in the best possible manner. The CEO of PagerDuty, Jennifer Tejada apologized after quoting Martin Luther King Jr. while announcing layoffs from the company.

“I am reminded in moments like this, of something Martin Luther King said, that ‘the ultimate measure of a [leader] is not where [they] stand in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where [they] stand in times of challenge and controversy,’" she wrote. 

“PagerDuty is a leader that stands behind its customers, its values, and our vision — for an equitable world where we transform critical work so all teams can delight their customers and build trust," Tejada said at the end of the letter which announced the elimination of around 7% of the workforce.

The company executive later realized her mistake and apologized for quoting King calling it inappropriate and insensitive. “The quote I included from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was inappropriate and insensitive," she said in the memo.

“I should have been more upfront about the layoffs in the email, more thoughtful about my tone, and more concise. I am sorry," Tejada added.

The layoffs in the tech sector have intensified during the first month of 2023 and the experts are asking tech employees to keep their fingers crossed at least for this quarter. According to a tech-layoff tracker Trueup.io, in January 2023, around 106,950 employees across the tech sector have been laid off.

This includes lay offs from major tech firms like Amazon, which laid off 18,000 workers, or Microsoft bidding goodbye to around 10,000 employees.

Indian tech-based firms like Swiggy, ShareChat, and Dunzo have also joined the fray and are laying off employees at different intervals.

While laying off, the companies quote reasons like instability in the market due to Covid-19-induced slowdown, or macroeconomic instability. But, experts believe that it is more about cost-cutting and copying each other.




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