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CEO apologizes for including Martin Luther King Jr. quote in email announcing layoffs: 'Inappropriate and insensitive'
Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

CEO apologizes for including Martin Luther King Jr. quote in email announcing layoffs: 'Inappropriate and insensitive'

PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada issued an apology after sending a lengthy email to employees that announced layoffs and included a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

"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," Tejada wrote in a Jan. 27 email apologizing for the earlier message. "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."

In a Jan. 24 email to "Dutonians," Tejada had noted that the company would be cutting around 7% of roles

Later in the wordy email, Tejada included a modified King quote.

"I am reminded in moments like this, of something Martin Luther King said, that 'the ultimate measure of a [leader] is not where [they] stand in the moments of comfort and convenience, but where [they] stand in times of challenge and controversy.' PagerDuty is a leader that stands behind its customers, its values, and our vision — for an equitable world where we transform critical work so all teams can delight their customers and build trust," Tejada wrote.

Other companies have also been announcing job cuts.

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced earlier this month that the company is slashing roles. "I have some difficult news to share. We've decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles," Pichai wrote in an email to employees.

Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella noted in a message to employees that "we are making changes that will result in the reduction of our overall workforce by 10,000 jobs through the end of FY23 Q3."

"Between the reductions we made in November and the ones we're sharing today, we plan to eliminate just over 18,000 roles," Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wrote in a message to employees earlier this month.

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