Dick Costolo, the former CEO of Twitter, painted a dark and violent future for business leaders who don't embrace social justice in the workplace. In a shocking tweet, Costolo gleefully suggested that capitalists would be executed by a firing squad.
Coinbase announced in a blog post on Sunday that the cryptocurrency exchange would focus minimally on policy decisions, nonprofit work, broader societal issues, and political causes that are not "directly related to the mission" of the company.
"We don't advocate for any particular causes or candidates internally that are unrelated to our mission, because it is a distraction from our mission," the post said of political causes. "Even if we all agree something is a problem, we may not all agree on the solution."
"I realized at some point this year that many employees were interpreting our mission in different ways," Coinbase's CEO Brian Armstrong wrote in the post. "Some people interpreted the mission more broadly, to include all forms of equality and justice. It makes sense if you believe that economic freedom is not possible without equality for all people. Others interpreted the mission more narrowly, believing that we were trying to create infrastructure for the cryptoeconomy, and that yes, this would create more equality of access for all people, but we weren't trying to solve all forms of inequality in the world."
Coinbase's attempt to achieve an "apolitical culture" while focusing on the corporate mission and not on activism was applauded by some, such as internet entrepreneur and investor Jason Calacanis.
"Most folks want to work in an environment free from today's vitriolic politics," he wrote. "Sure, @coinbase will lose folks who are passionate about politics/social issues, but they will gain a massive influx of talent that wants work to be about work and work only."
The apolitical work environment was also met by resistance by many who have warmly welcomed the recent surge in protests for social justice, including Costolo.
Costolo, who was named as one of the 10 most influential U.S. tech CEOs by Time magazine in 2013 before stepping down as Twitter's CEO in 2015, posted his opinion on the matter on Twitter.
"This isn't great leadership. It's the abdication of leadership," Costolo tweeted on Tuesday. "It's the equivalent of telling your employees to 'shut up and dribble.'"
This isn't great leadership. It's the abdication of leadership. It's the equivalent of telling your employees to "s… https://t.co/BYph7LxAIX— dick costolo (@dick costolo) 1601407071.0
"Tech companies used to welcome lively debate about ideas and society," Costolo said. "It was part of the social contract inside the company, and it's what differentiated tech culture from, say, Wells Fargo culture. Now it's considered a distraction."
"Abandoning the social contract with employees in favor of a purely economic contract in the guise of 'championship team' bs makes you a bank with a mission nobody really believes,' he continued. "Good luck getting the best engineers in the world to work at a bank."
"There's a difference between building a massive company and being a great leader, right? But i'll go re-read tours of duty because i generally think i need to re-think something if i disagree with you," said Costolo, who ran Twitter before his successor Jack Dorsey.
Then in his last tweet in the discussion on Twitter, Costolo bizarrely fantasized about a "revolution" where business leaders who didn't practice social justice would suffer a death via firing squad.
"Me-first capitalists who think you can separate society from business are going to be the first people lined up against the wall and shot in the revolution," said Costolo who has a reported estimated net worth of $300 million. "I'll happily provide video commentary."
According to Twitter's terms of service, "You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence."