Apple fired a new employee this week after thousands of employees petitioned the company to look into how the man was hired, despite the fact that he had previously published an autobiography that they claimed contained misogynistic statements.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Antonio Garca Martnez, formerly a product manager for ad targeting at Facebook and the author of the 2016 autobiography “Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley,” joined Apple’s ads team in April.
The book follows Garca Martnez’s life in the San Francisco Bay Area’s tech scene from 2010 to 2014. He began his career as a quantitative strategist for Goldman Sachs before moving to Silicon Valley and eventually founding AdGrok, an ad-tech startup that he later sold to Twitter. Between 2011 and 2013, he worked as a product manager at Facebook. Garca Martnez has written for a variety of publications, including Wired, in addition to his book.
Garca Martnez’s new position was announced on Monday by Business Insider, who cited his LinkedIn profile. By Tuesday evening, some Apple employees were circulating an internal “letter of concern,” citing several passages in “Chaos Monkeys” by Garca Martnez as problematic. The employees argued in a letter obtained by CNN Business that the passages contradict Apple’s commitment to inclusion.
To prove their point, the letter — which was first reported on by tech news site The Verge on Wednesday after receiving over 2,000 employee signatures — included excerpts from his writing.
“Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of s**t,” read a sentence in one passage from “Chaos Monkeys.” It continued, “They have their self-regarding entitlement feminism, and ceaselessly vaunt their independence, but the reality is, come to the epidemic plague or foreign invasion, they’d become precisely the sort of useless baggage you’d trade for a box of shotgun shells or a jerry can of diesel.”
Another book excerpt cited in the letter detailed startup funding, and included this sentence: “To make an analogy, a capped note is like having to seduce five women one after the other, while an equity round is having to convince five women to do a sixsome with you.”
“We are profoundly distraught by what this hire means for Apple’s commitment to its inclusion goals, as well as its real and immediate impact on those working near Mr García Martínez. It calls into question parts of our system of inclusion at Apple, including hiring panels, background checks, and our process to ensure our existing culture of inclusion is strong enough to withstand individuals who don’t share our inclusive values,” read the letter.
It also demanded that the company look into how Garca Martnez’s “published views on women and people of colour were missed or ignored” during the hiring process and develop a “clear plan of action to prevent this from happening again.”
“Given Mr Garca Martnez’s history of publishing overtly racist and sexist remarks about his former colleagues, we are concerned that his presence at Apple will contribute to an unsafe working environment for our colleagues who are vulnerable to public harassment and private bullying,” the letter continued.
Garca Martnez did not immediately respond to CNN Business’s request for comment, but he did appear to view a direct message sent to his verified Twitter profile.
CNN Business (then CNN Money) reviewed “Chaos Monkeys” in June 2016, saying that it reads like four years of “Medium posts from a scorned man.”
While employees at tech companies such as Google and Facebook have been publicly vocal about issues pertaining to internal culture on occasion in recent years, this episode has been a rare display of dissent among Apple’s workforce spilling into view. On Wednesday, a number of Apple employees took to Twitter to discuss the situation openly, emphasizing how critical some felt it was for the company to address the situation.
“The reason I chose this letter over another method was that while I trust Apple’s culture and my leadership to do the right thing, this was still starkly contradictory to that trust and those feelings,” Cher, an Apple engineer who requested that her last name be withheld for privacy reasons, told CNN Business.
By Wednesday night, Apple had confirmed to CNN Business that Garca Martnez was no longer employed by the company.
“At Apple, we have always strived to create an inclusive, welcoming workplace where everyone is respected and accepted. Behaviour that demeans or discriminates against people for who they are has no place here,” an Apple spokesman said.