PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada has apologized to employees for a cringe-worthy layoff email in which she quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In late January, Tejada sent an email announcing layoffs for roughly 7% of the company’s staff. Throughout the lengthy email, Tejada showed remarkable tone-deafness and spent much of the email cheerleading for the company’s accomplishments and patting leadership on the back — not a good look when announcing layoffs. The worse part, however, was quoting Dr. King at the height of back-patting the company’s leadership.
After predictably swift backlash, it appears Tejada has received the message loud and clear. The CEO posted an apology to employees, which is displayed below in its entirety:
This has been a difficult week for our company. For those of you who were not able to attend our town hall discussion today, I wanted to share what we discussed. The way I communicated layoffs distracted from our number one priority: showing care for the employees we laid off, and demonstrating the grace, respect, and appreciation they and all of you deserve.
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.
Many of you have reached out to me this week with feedback, questions and support – thank you.