A group of Apple employees are calling for an investigation into the recent hiring of former Facebook ad manager Antonio Garcia Martinez, citing concerns about “misogynistic statements” that he made.
According to a circulating petition that the staffers signed, Garcia Martinez’s hiring “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.”
In the petition, first seen by The Verge, the employees expressed concerns about Garcia Martinez’s views on women and people of color. They cite passages from “Chaos Monkeys,” an autobiography about Garcia Martinez’s work in Silicon Valley, and comments from interviews with the former Facebook ad products executive.
For example, one quote from the book that’s being shared on Twitter calls women in the Bay Area “soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit.”
Garcia Martinez was hired to join Apple’s ad platforms product engineering team, works on advertising technology within the App Store and in other places like Apple News and the Stocks app. He will be based in Cupertino.
The petition calls for an investigation into how Garcia Martinez’s “published views on women and people of color were missed or ignored, along with a clear plan of action to prevent this from happening again.”
Apple says that diversity is one of its core values. According to its latest diversity report, women made up 34% of Apple’s total workforce in 2020. The share of Asian workers also increased to 27%, up from 23% in 2018.
The full text of the letter, which started circulating on Wednesday, can be seen below.
We are deeply concerned about the recent hiring of Antonio GarcÃa MartÃnez. His misogynistic statements in his autobiography — such as “Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit” (further quoted below this letter) — directly oppose Apple’s commitment to Inclusion & Diversity. 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. GarcÃa MartÃnez. 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.
It is concerning that the views Mr. GarcÃa MartÃnez expresses in his 2016 book Chaos Monkeys were overlooked — or worse, excused — during his background check or hiring panel. We demand an investigation into how his published views on women and people of color were missed or ignored, along with a clear plan of action to prevent this from happening again.
Inclusion isn’t just about who we hire; it’s also about how we support everyone who already works at Apple. Given Mr. GarcÃa MartÃnez’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 at risk of public harassment and private bullying. We are entitled to insight into how the People team intends to mitigate this risk.
Further, the explicit, conscious biases expressed in Mr. GarcÃa MartÃnez’s writing will continue to slow our I&D progress as long as they are tolerated by those with the power to affect hiring decisions and career trajectories. At a minimum, we demand assurance that Mr. GarcÃa MartÃnez and any who share his harmful views will not be involved in hiring, interviewing, or performance decisions during their tenures at Apple.
Finally, we expect and deserve a transparent, intentional, and detailed strategy from Apple to ensure our culture of inclusion is strong enough to protect our team members against biases like these that ANY new hire brings. Our training calls attention to the unconscious biases that contradict our stated values, but no amount of training can inspire a commitment to inclusion in someone who objects to its basic premise.
We have included a selection of direct quotes below this letter from Chaos Monkeys and interviews with Mr. GarcÃa MartÃnez that showcase some of the statements he’s made. We are aware that Mr. Martinez has claimed that the quote above is taken out of context, but the full passage is no less harmful. We are also aware that Mr. Martinez has attempted to distance himself from these statements by claiming that they represent widely held attitudes in the tech industry. This is not a tenable position. In reproducing these harmful stereotypes, and in materially benefiting from them, Mr. Martinez shows himself to be a participant in this culture and only furthers the sexism and racism that our I&D initiatives are working to counteract.
Thank you for hearing our concerns. We look forward to your response regarding Apple’s plans to continue moving toward a more inclusive workspace.
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