Corporate executives tell workers stick to business, leave politics at home
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.