CEOs Start to Push Back Against ‘Woke’ Employee Bullying - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15234376
CEOs Start to Push Back Against ‘Woke’ Employee Bullying
Corporate executives tell workers stick to business, leave politics at home

By Kevin Stocklin
June 21, 2022


In an indication that corporate progressivism may be reaching its high-water mark, CEOs for the first time are pushing back against activist employees, in some cases going so far as to fire them rather than steer their companies into the mire of “woke” politics.

Last week, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell became the latest executive to say he has had enough. He invited employees who felt “triggered” by controversial ideas to accept a severance package and leave the company.

The cryptocurrency technology company’s new mission statement says that it “will never ask that our employees adopt any specific political ideology as a requirement for our workplace … We recognize that hurt feelings are inevitable in a global organization that is optimizing for team outcomes above individual sentiment. The ideal Krakenite is thick-skinned and well-intentioned.”

Powell told “Fox & Friends” that of the company’s 3,000 employees, about 30 have chosen to accept the four-month severance pay and leave, citing their need to express political or social beliefs in the workplace. Comments from the remaining 99 percent of Kraken employees regarding the policy to keep politics out of the workplace were “overwhelmingly positive,” he said.

“I think everyone is ready to get back to work and stop being distracted.”

“Suddenly, nobody has any interest in this anymore, and companies are responding accordingly and starting to drop ‘woke,’” said Scott Shepard, director at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “I don’t think this is the end of woke, I don’t even think it’s the beginning of the end, but to borrow from Mr. Churchill, I do think it might be the end of the beginning.”

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space exploration company, joined the chorus on June 16. After several employees publicized a letter denouncing Musk’s campaign to acquire Twitter and steer the social media platform away from censorship, SpaceX responded by firing them.

The employees publicly criticized Musk’s efforts as “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment” for SpaceX. After firing those responsible, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell emailed employees that the efforts against Musk’s Twitter acquisition “made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign onto something that did not reflect their views. We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism.”

The Athletic, a sports news website owned by The New York Times, told its staff this week to stick to sports and drop the political activism.

“We don’t want to stop people from having a voice and expressing themselves,” Paul Fichtenbaum, the publication’s chief content officer, said in a directive. “We just need to keep it from tipping over into the political space.”

Some employees disagreed. A staffer quickly responded in protest. “What about Black Lives Matter? Is that a social cause? Who will write about athlete protests? What about trans athletes in sports?”

Political activism can take a toll on companies, both internally and externally. Walt Disney Co. has proven to be a cautionary tale for corporate leaders. In March, CEO Bob Chapek bowed to activist employees and announced that the family entertainment company would fight to support sex education for children in elementary school, while company executives revealed the intention to add LGBT content to kids’ movies and shows.

That action sparked a backlash from conservative employees and led to parents canceling subscriptions and theme park visits.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to Disney’s harsh criticism of a state law banning sex-ed in kindergarten through third grade by revoking the tax-advantaged status of the company’s theme park in Orlando. Meanwhile, shareholders watched with alarm as Disney stock fell from $130 per share in March to about $94 currently, a 28 percent drop that’s well in excess of the 18 percent decline in the S&P 500 over the same period.

Citibank’s pro-abortion and anti-gun advocacy also drew the attention of state lawmakers. Texas passed legislation in June 2021 that barred banks that discriminate against fossil fuel companies or gun makers from underwriting state bonds. And Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain threatened Citibank with similar treatment in March over its policy of paying travel expenses for employees who go out of state to circumvent Texas’s anti-abortion laws. Texas is the second-largest issuer of municipal bonds in the United States. Other states such as West Virginia have passed similar laws.

In response to employee protests over controversial programs, such as comedian Dave Chappelle’s stand-up comedy show “The Closer,” Netflix told employees in May that it would no longer tolerate efforts to censor content that staff find objectionable.

“We support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices,” the company stated. “If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

Netflix took that action after it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of this year and projected that it would lose 2 million more in the second quarter.

“It turns out that alienating the majority of your customer base is terrible for business,” Shepard said. “You can sort of get away with that when the market is reaching new highs and interest rates are nothing, so you can borrow and make up for the lack of profits.”

But in today’s environment, with markets tumbling, interest rates rising, and a potential recession looming, “suddenly the luxury of alienating your customer base doesn’t exist anymore.”

In addition to efforts at SpaceX to refocus employees toward company business, Musk is also working to revamp his target acquisition, Twitter, into a more inclusive platform. Last week, he communicated to employees that the platform must be open to all political points of view and that conversations that represent legal free speech, however offensive, should be permitted on Twitter. He’s expected, if the sale of the company goes through, to fire many of the progressive pro-censorship executives.

Many organizations, even the most progressive ones, are finding that taking up divisive racial and gender agendas is causing employees to turn on each other. Politico reported in November 2020 that “following a botched diversity meeting, a highly critical employee survey, and the resignations of two top diversity and inclusion officials, the 600,000-member National Audubon Society is confronting allegations that it maintains a culture of retaliation, fear, and antagonism toward women and people of color, according to interviews with 13 current and former staff members.”

Left-wing internet publication The Intercept lamented that the election of President Joe Biden was supposed to mark the start of a golden era for the progressive moment. Instead, “Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and other reproductive health organizations had been locked in knock-down, drag-out fights between competing factions of their organizations … It’s also true of the progressive advocacy space across the board, which has, more or less, effectively ceased to function.”

The Washington Post fired reporter Felicia Sonmez in early June for incessant public attacks on a fellow staff writer and on the paper itself, accusing them of racism and sexism. In response to Sonmez’s critical tweets, Executive Editor Sally Buzbee initially issued an advisory to all staff that “we do not tolerate colleagues attacking colleagues either face to face or online.”

When that failed to rein in Sonmez, the Post fired her for “insubordination, maligning your coworkers online and violating the Post’s standards on workplace collegiality and inclusivity.”

Companies are learning that they are often hurting their own brands and losing customers by taking up highly controversial political positions. And like Chapek, many CEOs are finding themselves unprepared for the harsh world of social-justice politics.

The executives of Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Microsoft, Levi’s, and Major League Baseball chose to protest voter ID laws in Georgia, with MLB even removing its All-Star game from Atlanta. Delta CEO Ed Bastian first supported the law, then turned against it in response to left-wing threats to boycott the airline.

But few companies followed Disney into the fight over child sex education, and so far, few companies have waded into the abortion debate, despite indications that the Supreme Court could decide to overturn Roe v. Wade, sending decisions on abortion law back to state legislatures.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/ceos-star ... 45883.html
#15234378
BlutoSays wrote:CEOs Start to Push Back Against ‘Woke’ Employee Bullying
Corporate executives tell workers stick to business, leave politics at home

By Kevin Stocklin
June 21, 2022


In an indication that corporate progressivism may be reaching its high-water mark, CEOs for the first time are pushing back against activist employees, in some cases going so far as to fire them rather than steer their companies into the mire of “woke” politics.

Last week, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell became the latest executive to say he has had enough. He invited employees who felt “triggered” by controversial ideas to accept a severance package and leave the company.

The cryptocurrency technology company’s new mission statement says that it “will never ask that our employees adopt any specific political ideology as a requirement for our workplace … We recognize that hurt feelings are inevitable in a global organization that is optimizing for team outcomes above individual sentiment. The ideal Krakenite is thick-skinned and well-intentioned.”

Powell told “Fox & Friends” that of the company’s 3,000 employees, about 30 have chosen to accept the four-month severance pay and leave, citing their need to express political or social beliefs in the workplace. Comments from the remaining 99 percent of Kraken employees regarding the policy to keep politics out of the workplace were “overwhelmingly positive,” he said.

“I think everyone is ready to get back to work and stop being distracted.”

“Suddenly, nobody has any interest in this anymore, and companies are responding accordingly and starting to drop ‘woke,’” said Scott Shepard, director at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “I don’t think this is the end of woke, I don’t even think it’s the beginning of the end, but to borrow from Mr. Churchill, I do think it might be the end of the beginning.”

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space exploration company, joined the chorus on June 16. After several employees publicized a letter denouncing Musk’s campaign to acquire Twitter and steer the social media platform away from censorship, SpaceX responded by firing them.

The employees publicly criticized Musk’s efforts as “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment” for SpaceX. After firing those responsible, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell emailed employees that the efforts against Musk’s Twitter acquisition “made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign onto something that did not reflect their views. We have too much critical work to accomplish and no need for this kind of overreaching activism.”

The Athletic, a sports news website owned by The New York Times, told its staff this week to stick to sports and drop the political activism.

“We don’t want to stop people from having a voice and expressing themselves,” Paul Fichtenbaum, the publication’s chief content officer, said in a directive. “We just need to keep it from tipping over into the political space.”

Some employees disagreed. A staffer quickly responded in protest. “What about Black Lives Matter? Is that a social cause? Who will write about athlete protests? What about trans athletes in sports?”

Political activism can take a toll on companies, both internally and externally. Walt Disney Co. has proven to be a cautionary tale for corporate leaders. In March, CEO Bob Chapek bowed to activist employees and announced that the family entertainment company would fight to support sex education for children in elementary school, while company executives revealed the intention to add LGBT content to kids’ movies and shows.

That action sparked a backlash from conservative employees and led to parents canceling subscriptions and theme park visits.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to Disney’s harsh criticism of a state law banning sex-ed in kindergarten through third grade by revoking the tax-advantaged status of the company’s theme park in Orlando. Meanwhile, shareholders watched with alarm as Disney stock fell from $130 per share in March to about $94 currently, a 28 percent drop that’s well in excess of the 18 percent decline in the S&P 500 over the same period.

Citibank’s pro-abortion and anti-gun advocacy also drew the attention of state lawmakers. Texas passed legislation in June 2021 that barred banks that discriminate against fossil fuel companies or gun makers from underwriting state bonds. And Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain threatened Citibank with similar treatment in March over its policy of paying travel expenses for employees who go out of state to circumvent Texas’s anti-abortion laws. Texas is the second-largest issuer of municipal bonds in the United States. Other states such as West Virginia have passed similar laws.

In response to employee protests over controversial programs, such as comedian Dave Chappelle’s stand-up comedy show “The Closer,” Netflix told employees in May that it would no longer tolerate efforts to censor content that staff find objectionable.

“We support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices,” the company stated. “If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”

Netflix took that action after it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of this year and projected that it would lose 2 million more in the second quarter.

“It turns out that alienating the majority of your customer base is terrible for business,” Shepard said. “You can sort of get away with that when the market is reaching new highs and interest rates are nothing, so you can borrow and make up for the lack of profits.”

But in today’s environment, with markets tumbling, interest rates rising, and a potential recession looming, “suddenly the luxury of alienating your customer base doesn’t exist anymore.”

In addition to efforts at SpaceX to refocus employees toward company business, Musk is also working to revamp his target acquisition, Twitter, into a more inclusive platform. Last week, he communicated to employees that the platform must be open to all political points of view and that conversations that represent legal free speech, however offensive, should be permitted on Twitter. He’s expected, if the sale of the company goes through, to fire many of the progressive pro-censorship executives.

Many organizations, even the most progressive ones, are finding that taking up divisive racial and gender agendas is causing employees to turn on each other. Politico reported in November 2020 that “following a botched diversity meeting, a highly critical employee survey, and the resignations of two top diversity and inclusion officials, the 600,000-member National Audubon Society is confronting allegations that it maintains a culture of retaliation, fear, and antagonism toward women and people of color, according to interviews with 13 current and former staff members.”

Left-wing internet publication The Intercept lamented that the election of President Joe Biden was supposed to mark the start of a golden era for the progressive moment. Instead, “Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and other reproductive health organizations had been locked in knock-down, drag-out fights between competing factions of their organizations … It’s also true of the progressive advocacy space across the board, which has, more or less, effectively ceased to function.”

The Washington Post fired reporter Felicia Sonmez in early June for incessant public attacks on a fellow staff writer and on the paper itself, accusing them of racism and sexism. In response to Sonmez’s critical tweets, Executive Editor Sally Buzbee initially issued an advisory to all staff that “we do not tolerate colleagues attacking colleagues either face to face or online.”

When that failed to rein in Sonmez, the Post fired her for “insubordination, maligning your coworkers online and violating the Post’s standards on workplace collegiality and inclusivity.”

Companies are learning that they are often hurting their own brands and losing customers by taking up highly controversial political positions. And like Chapek, many CEOs are finding themselves unprepared for the harsh world of social-justice politics.

The executives of Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Microsoft, Levi’s, and Major League Baseball chose to protest voter ID laws in Georgia, with MLB even removing its All-Star game from Atlanta. Delta CEO Ed Bastian first supported the law, then turned against it in response to left-wing threats to boycott the airline.

But few companies followed Disney into the fight over child sex education, and so far, few companies have waded into the abortion debate, despite indications that the Supreme Court could decide to overturn Roe v. Wade, sending decisions on abortion law back to state legislatures.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/ceos-star ... 45883.html




A few activist 1%er CEO are pushing their own political agenda.

Big deal.
#15234399
Why is everyone just expected to drop-what-they're-doing and toe-the-line so that the company can 'get back to profits' -- ?

I just *made* a diagram that shows that capitalists make their profits *directly* from exploiting the labor commodity itself (workers), *regardless* of whatever the business happens to be.


material-economic exploitation

Spoiler: show
Image



material-economic exploitation UNOFFICIAL

Spoiler: show
Image
#15234410
Rancid wrote:
Culture war culture war culture war



*Or*, similar conditions have existed historically. The types who stormed the Capitol are the same ones who were out to assassinate Lincoln, and then did:



In 1860, many people believed that America should be a white nation where Black people could be bought and sold and held in slavery. The civil war began when many of the people who held that view refused to accept the results of that year’s presidential election. They first plotted to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln (five years later, they would succeed). Then they seceded from the Union, and shortly thereafter started shooting and killing people who disagreed with them. By the end of the war, 2% of the entire country’s population had been killed, the equivalent of 7 million people being killed based on today’s US population.

Despite the rampant treason and extraordinary carnage of the war, the country’s political leaders had little appetite for punishing their white counterparts who had done their level best to destroy the United States of America. After Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth successfully assassinated Lincoln in 1865, Andrew Johnson ascended to the highest office in the land. Johnson, a southerner who “openly espoused white supremacy”, “handed out pardons indiscriminately” to Confederate leaders and removed from the south the federal troops protecting newly freed African Americans.

The historian Lerone Bennett Jr captured the tragedy of the moment in his book Black Power USA: The Human Side of Reconstruction, 1867-1877, writing: “Most Confederate leaders expected imprisonment, confiscation, perhaps even banishment. Expecting the worst, they were willing to give up many things in order to keep some. If there was ever a moment for imposing a lasting solution to the American racial problem, this was it. But the North dawdled and the moment passed. When the Confederates realized that the North was divided and unsure, hope returned. And with hope came a revival of the spirit of rebellion … this was one of the greatest political blunders in American history.”



https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ectionists
#15234412
Rancid wrote:
@BlutoSays is one of those drones.



Yeah, and I mean to say 'Don't take this stuff too lightly.'

It's an *unresolved* socio-political issue going back to the origin of the country, and the article is *correct* in saying that the Southern white aristocracy should not have been allowed to continue its existence (politically), because it's continued to press its separatist regional interests, for a backward mode of production, slavery.
#15234497
Beren wrote:
I'm a quite political person, but I'd be rather annoyed by whatever political activism in the workplace even if I agreed with it, especially if the company were mine.



Think of the implications, though -- the workplace is about selling one's life-time, and attention / efforts, and is certainly not the same thing as society in general, away from the workplace.

You're saying that you want people to basically be on 'lock-down' while at work, and to pretend that the larger world -- larger than the company workplace -- doesn't exist and doesn't have importance.

But companies and workplaces *are* in the larger world, and *are* affected by it.

Obviously you identify more with the back-to-work sentiment, more than people's lives and the 2011 and 2020 *expressions* over people's lives, like for George Floyd and many others. That's problematic because the larger world doesn't just *stop* while people are at work.

Just how much of a personification of capital *are* you, Beren?
#15234513
Pants-of-dog wrote:So those companies that fired workers for being sexist or racist or homophobic were correct to do so, since the workers brought their politics into the workplace.

You have such lovely associations, really. So merely being an asshole is political activism in your book? :lol:

Or did they actually express such ideas in a political way?

However, I don't mind anyway, I'd prefer both assholes and political activists leaving me alone in the workplace regardless.
#15234516
Beren wrote:
Indeed, so leave me alone with your politics in the workplace.



The question here is 'Does the world remain *outside* of the workplace, or is the workplace *still* a part of society?'

Sure, the workplace is private property, and if you're the CEO you want to make sure that every *minute* of every employee's workday is properly *commodified*, so as to be work-productive, to build equity values for the company. Otherwise, why even *bother* with employing people at all -- !


[11] Labor & Capital, Wages & Dividends

Spoiler: show
Image



Here's the thing, though -- with *that* kind of behavior, is the CEO still a part of *society* -- ? The CEO doesn't care about the *people* of society, or its goings-on, and would rather *privatize* / aggrandize as much equity value as possible, since that's the name of the game.

As I find myself saying all-too-frequently, that's a *trade-off* -- the CEO and staff (etc.) are providing a *specialized* service and/or a *nationalist* one (if one is associated with government), meaning that they're really *not* a part of general society, experientially or socially, while they're at or around the workplace / work -- they're in the midst of *private* activities, in part or in whole.

Again, the question is 'how-private' are these private concerns -- to the point of eschewing *society* and its politics altogether? How 'hermit' does this go, and how many others does it drag down with it?
#15234525
Beren wrote:
It's still part of society, it's just not that part in which I prefer being bothered with political activism.



So you're positing a *dichotomy* -- you're saying the workplace should be *exempt* from societal / political concerns.

And what about the *people* there -- are employees to be *automatons*, and just-as-separate from societal politics, too?

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