SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The CEO of a San Francisco-based tech company was roasted on “The Daily Show” for invoking Martin Luther King Jr. to announce hundreds of layoffs.
PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada sent the letter to employees last week stating seven percent of global roles were on the chopping block.
Toward the end of her letter, Tejada quoted Martin Luther King Jr. She wrote, “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.’ PagerDuty is a leader that stands behind its customers, its values, and our vision.”
Veteran stand-up comedian D.L. Hughley guest hosted “The Daily Show” Tuesday night and called out Tejada with some comical jabs.
Hughley says, “Surely there’s no good way to fire your employees. But there’s definitely some pretty bad ways, as one CEO just found out.”
Four minutes and 30 seconds into the show, Hughley rolls a clip from KRON4’s newscast showing KRON4 anchor Ken Wayne reporting on the controversial PagerDuty layoff letter.
After Wayne read the letter, Hughley quips, “Who gets fired with Martin Luther King quotes?”
The comedian then makes up his own inappropriate layoff messages to employees. “I’ve been to the mountain top, and they ain’t hiring either. I have a dream and you can too, cause there ain’t reason for you to get up early in the morning. Free at last, free at last, here’s your severance package, you are free at last,” Hughley says.
After facing negative feedback, Tejada posted an apology letter to the company’s website stating she should have been more “thoughtful about my tone.”
“There are a number of things I would do differently if I could. The quote I included from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was inappropriate and insensitive. I should have been more upfront about the layoffs in the email, more thoughtful about my tone, and more concise. I am sorry,” the CEO wrote.