A former Facebook product manager said Apple fired him shortly after he was hired after an employee protested allegedly sexist and racist language in his bestseller “Chaos Monkeys”.
“I was fired by Apple in a quick decision,” said Antonio García-Martínez on Friday afternoon on Twitter. His LinkedIn page says he started working on the Cupertino iPhone and app store giants last month.
Apple earlier said Reuters in response to questions about his departure: “Behavior that humiliates or discriminates against people for whom they are has no place here.”
García-Martínez said on Twitter that the company’s statement implied that he had engaged in “negative behavior” at Apple. “That is defamatory and categorically wrong” he tweeted. He did not directly respond to allegations made by Apple employees regarding his book. He did not immediately respond to a request from that news organization for comment on these allegations.
García-Martínez’s exit followed news from technology website The Verge on Wednesday that more than 2,000 Apple employees had signed a petition expressing deep concern about his attitude. The letter focused on García-Martínez’s 2016 autobiography, according to the website, and quoted a number of statements from it.
“Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak, spoiled and naive, despite their claims of worldliness,” said one passage, contrasting what the author believed about women in the region with what he said about a friend saw who in a “post-apocalypse” would be able to “hit someone in the back of carpentry, animal husbandry or a shotgun”.
On Friday afternoon, García-Martínez said Apple was “well aware” of his letter before addressing him. “My credentials were asked extensively about my bestselling book and my real professional personality (rather than literary),” he tweeted.
The petition quoted another passage about another woman, of whom he wrote: “Unlike most women on Facebook (or really in the Bay Area), she knew how to dress; The form-fitting dresses in the style of the forties from the neck to the knee were her mainstay. He also complained that few Facebook employees “flaunt their femininity in the form of dresses and heels.” Elsewhere, in a meeting on Facebook, he described a woman as “more divisive or more charming”.
Apple employees accused García-Martínez of both sexism and racism. You cited another passage referring to a technical manager with a “thick Indian accent” that reminded him of an “auto rickshaw driver” in India.
Apple employees also struggled with García-Martínez’s description of East Palo Alto, a city with large Latin American and black populations.
García-Martínez said on Twitter that he remained silent on the matter until Friday afternoon because he “wanted to amicably settle things with the company I admired and where I hoped to shape the future of advertising privacy”. He said he spoke out because Apple spoke publicly about his departure.
Apple “actively” recruited him for the job in the advertising team, said García-Martínez. “I’ve turned my life upside down for Apple,” he tweeted. “I sold my (Washington) residence that I had built with my own hands, moved, shut down all public media exposure and future writing efforts, and decided to build my career at Apple for years to come.”