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Tech CEO who quoted MLK roasts on ‘Daily Show’


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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The CEO of a San Francisco-based technology company was criticized 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 that seven percent of global roles were on the chopping block.

Toward the end of her letter, Tejada quoted Martin Luther King Jr. She wrote: “At times like this, I remember something Martin Luther King said, that ‘the last measure of a (leader) is not where (they) stand. in moments of comfort and convenience, but where (they) find themselves in times of challenge and controversy.’ PagerDuty is a leader who stands behind its customers, their values ​​and our vision.”

Veteran stand-up comedian DL Hughley hosted “The Daily Show” on Tuesday night and called out Tejada with some comedic jabs.

Says Hughley: “Surely there is no good way to fire your employees. But there are definitely some pretty bad ways, as one CEO just found out.”

Four minutes and 30 seconds into the show, Hughley shows a clip from the KRON4 newscast showing KRON4 host Ken Wayne reporting on PagerDuty’s controversial termination letter.

After Wayne reads the letter, Hughley quips, “Who gets fired with Martin Luther King quotes?”

The comedian then makes up his own inappropriate termination messages for the employees. “I’ve been to the top of the mountain and they’re not hiring either. I have a dream and so can you, because there is no reason for you to get up early in the morning. Free at last, free at last, here’s your severance package, you’re free at last,” says Hughley.

After receiving negative feedback, Tejada posted an apology letter on the company’s website saying she should have been more “considerate with my tone.”

“There are a number of things that 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 direct about the layoffs in the email, more thoughtful about my tone, and more concise. Sorry,” the CEO wrote.

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