BI CEO Henry Blodget says CTO's comments: “do not reflect our values and have no place at our company”
Business Insider CTO Pax Dickinson left the company on Tuesday after several of his racist, sexist and otherwise controversial tweets were discovered and a widespread backlash called for his firing.
In a statement posted on Business Insider, founder and CEO Henry Blodget said: “A Business Insider executive has made some comments on Twitter that do not reflect our values and have no place at our company. The executive has left the company, effective immediately. Business Insider's team is composed of more than 100 talented men and women of many backgrounds, and we highly value this diversity.”
Though the statement did not refer specifically to Dickinson, his tweets that criticized minimum wage workers, women in the tech industry, homosexuals and used racial slurs were the subject of a massive outcry on Monday after he tweeted that “feminism in tech remains the champion topic for my block list. my finger is getting tired.”
Tech blogger Anil Dash responded by tweeting: “Wow, didn't realize @businessinder had hired such an asshole in @paxdickinson. Getting memcache to build made him an expert on misogyny!”
“Really, dude?” Dickinson tweeted. “You know we work in the same building right? Would you like to come call me an asshole to my face tomorrow?”
The Twitter feud prompted several people to look back through Dickinson's Twitter timeline, revealing several similarly misogynistic, sexist, homophobic and racist tweets over the years. After some were collected in a Valleywag post, Dickinson, who earlier had scoffed at the site's efforts to shame him with “Yep, @sambiddle is on the case now. I have roused the inquisition. #prayforme,” tweeted “Hey guess who has two thumbs and is today's Emmanuel Goldstein? #ThisGuy.”
While Dickinson argued that he had a right to free speech, his Twitter account was linked to job postings for Business Insider. He used that same twitter account to tweet, in May 2012 that “Tech managers spend as much time worrying about how to hire talented female developers as they do worrying about how to hire a unicorn.”
In January 2012, Blodget posted a social media policy for Business Insider employees that said “Never forget that you work for Business Insider and, therefore, that anything you do at work or outside of work may reflect on Business Insider and be associated with Business Insider. So as much as we all want to think there's a difference between ‘personal’ and ‘business,’ there just isn't anymore.”
Dickinson did not respond to requests for comment, but did tweet this (after changing his profile from describing himself at BI's CTO to describing himself as “the worst person in the world”):
I gained 850 twitter followers and +7 @klout in less than 24 hours. Now offering social media consulting services.
— Pax Dickinson (@paxdickinson) September 10, 2013
Dickinson's dismissal was first reported by New York Magazine.