Apple fires new executive for calling Silicon Valley women ‘soft and weak’ in bestselling book

Employees demand to know how published views on women were missed in hiring process

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Thursday 13 May 2021 16:53
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Apple has terminated a former Facebook executive who had only just joined the company after complaints about previous misogynistic comments and conduct.

Antonio Garcia Martinez was hired by to join the App Store and Apple News advertising team on Monday, but in a statement to 9to5Mac, Apple confirmed on Wednesday that he was no longer part of the company.

Apple employees petitioned against his hiring due to a reputation for alleged sexist and misogynistic conduct and are outraged that a book he authored in 2016 did not appear to have been taken into consideration during the hiring process.

Mr Garcia Martinez published a bestselling memoir called Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley, in which he writes about his experience working in Silicon Valley.

The book includes several passages that denigrate women and dismisses their work for tech companies.

“Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of s***,” he writes in one chapter.

“They have their self-regarding entitlement feminism, and ceaselessly vaunt their independence, but the reality is, come 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.”

In another chapter, he says that women “can’t make eye contact with a man while going down”.

Mr Garcia Martinez worked at Facebook from 2011 to 2013 before moving on to work on his own projects.

He also previously worked at Goldman Sachs and started the company AdGrok that he eventually sold to Twitter.

In the petition, Apple employees expressed concern about his views on women and people of colour, The Verge reports.

His 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,” the petition states.

More than 2,000 employees signed the letter and passages from the book circulated on Twitter.

One woman who works in infrastructure at Apple, wrote: “It’s so exhausting being a woman in tech; sitting opposite men who think because of my gender, I am soft and weak and generally full of shit.”

She added: “It’s not even worth it to say I have worked relentlessly for every accomplishment I have.”

On hearing the complaints, Apple chose to end his onboarding into the company and dismiss him.

“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,” said a company statement.

It is not clear why there was no investigation into the executive’s past as part of a pre-hiring vetting process as the petition notes.

The complaint asks how the view expressed in his book “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 colour were missed or ignored, along with a clear plan of action to prevent this from happening again.”

The signatories say they expect and deserve a transparent, intentional, and detailed strategy from the company.

The Independent has contacted both Apple and Mr Garcia Martinez for comment.

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