Apple: Antonio García Martínez strikes back

Axed abruptly over what he calls his “literary” persona, advertising engineer Martinez calls Apple’s version of events “defamatory and false.”

apple martinez strikes backFrom his Twitter account:

I have thus far maintained my silence on the Apple situation as I’ve sought to settle things amicably with the company that I admired, and at which I hoped to build the future of ads privacy. As they however are not maintaining their silence on the matter, neither will I.

1. Apple actively recruited me for my role on the ads team, reaching out via a former colleague to convince me to join. Apple found my experience in the ads space, specifically around data and privacy, highly relevant to their efforts and persuaded me to leave my then role.

2. I upended my life for Apple. I sold my WA residence which I built with my own hands, relocated myself, shut down any public media presence and future writing aspirations, and resolved to build my career at Apple for years to come.

3. Apple was well aware of my writing before hiring me. My references were questioned extensively about my bestselling book and my real professional persona (rather than literary one). This set of prominent Valley VCs and execs are all willing to assert as much under oath.

4. I did not ‘part ways’ with Apple. I was fired by Apple in a snap decision.

5. Apple has issued a statement that clearly implies there was some negative behavior by me during my time at Apple. That is defamatory and categorically false.

My take: I doubt this will end up in court, but for the record, here’s the statement he objects to…

At Apple we have always strived to create an inclusive, welcoming workplace where everyone is respected and accepted. Behavior that demeans or discriminates against people for who they are has no place here.

See also:

24 Comments

  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    Apple was wrong in today’s political, social & cultural climate with its sensitivities swirling around personal treatment of others to have hired Antonio García Martínez. Little doubt his description of how Apple actively recruited him & how Martínez gave up his previous job, sold a special property he developed exclusively for himself, relocated geographically to assume a new role of which he was anxious, excited & motivated to produce is true. It is of no fault of Martínez, but of Apple’s own doing.

    Apple employees’ written complaints to Eddy Cue were not about inappropriate job behavior by Martínez at Apple or while at his previous job posts. The complaints evolved around his “literary persona,” as Martínez says. The fault lies with whoever at Apple should have vetted the man more thoroughly to decide the ramifications of his literary persona in this new age of political correctness & enlightenment.

    Continue….

    3
    May 15, 2021
  2. Jerry Doyle said:
    Continued….

    “…. Behavior that demeans or discriminates against people for who they are has no place here.”

    That official, public Apple statement for public consumption implies negative behaviors by Martínez during his brief tenure while at Apple. Now Apple screws up a second time with Martínez. Who at Apple is responsible for this debacle, responsible for hiring Martínez initially & responsible for mismanaging the way the company subsequently dropped him like a “hot potato” with inappropriate official public language implying the man behaved wrongly with fellow employees while at Apple?

    Apple does not want this matter to go to court. Apple would be prudent to give Martínez a handsome settlement & move on.

    6
    May 15, 2021
    • David Emery said:
      Dunno. In general, you never want to go to court, particularly on an HR issue. (HR exists to keep companies out of court!) But if there was some behavior while he was an Apple employee, that’s a lot easier to defend than “We (Apple) failed to do our due diligence.” And of course, a lot depends on his employment contract terms (some contracts have a probationary period where termination is a lot easier.)

      1
      May 15, 2021
  3. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Pray tell, Antonio.

    Now that Mr. Martínez has decided to spill his beans — NDA or not — and along with his best-selling snippy “literary” male pompous persona, is alone and by itself, evident of a person Apple should have passed on.

    Some one or three people at Apple “ucked fup”. It may be dirty pool, but is it a fault of Apple to react to the roar of their employees?

    4
    May 15, 2021
  4. Ken Cheng said:
    I’m sure he’ll be well-compensated for all his trouble. My understanding is that labor law in California is very favorable to the worker, so that any firing has to be quite egregious.

    0
    May 15, 2021
  5. Jerry Doyle said:
    I find this topic fascinating. It stems from the ramifications of the new culture cancelling age and foretells how companies will be impacted going forward if they do not adjust quickly. If this had been a secretary who wrote a book, little to nothing may have occurred because the secretary more than likely is not involved in enforcing HR personnel policies or having input into the process within the company. Not so for Mr. Martínez as a senior level Apple executive. He will be involved in the enforcement of such ethics policies and consequently must serve as a role model himself.

    The new culture canceling age is forcing many folk to rethink, to revisit, to change or to modify behavior in their social, cultural & work settings. This is a paradigm shift of many magnitudes where long held institutional arrangements will need to be re-examined. The new culture canceling age is extremely difficult in my geographic area where many folk see even CEOs and companies who espouse inclusiveness or proper behavioral decorum as hypocrites.

    Continue….

    0
    May 15, 2021
  6. Jerry Doyle said:
    Continued….

    For example, if an Amazon senior executive snaps a picture of his private parts and the picture ends up for public viewing and consumption how will Jeff Bezos respond? If he terminates the senior executive then he is a hypocrite himself for remaining strategically involved in running the company. If he doesn’t terminate the senior executive then he is a hypocrite for not dealing efficiently with enforcing company policies. That is an outlier example but within those parameters lies hundreds of more examples.

    As the new culture canceling age paradigm shift sinks into companies who thought they were exemplary models some will find they too, fall short. Apple most likely felled short here because their mindset was one of this doesn’t happen to us. Companies today who think they are all inclusive quickly will find they are not so and they will be called out for it. It’s a new age.

    0
    May 15, 2021
    • David Emery said:
      These kinds of considerations are not ‘new cancel culture’. A company I was in (where I had some insight into how that company was run) had several legal run-ins with disgruntled former employees. Sometimes the employee was just trying to milk the company for funds. In at least one case, the reason for termination was blatantly wrong, so the employee had a case (created by incompetence on the part of the HR department.)

      The #1 rule of HR is “keep the company out of court.” “Do the best thing for the employee” is way down the priority for most HR departments.

      2
      May 15, 2021
      • Jerry Doyle said:
        @ David Emery:

        I disagree respectfully David E. There now is a new cultural, social canceling age paradigm in the corporate world and in our societal relationships. Employers historically have treated employees disparately. That hopefully will change more going forward as workers become increasingly engaged as a force to take on corporate society demanding that management treats all workers in a “fair & equitable” manner. Ten years ago or even 5 years ago I question whether employees would have engaged in this issue relative to Mr. Martínez as they showed us and I question whether management would have terminated the man as they did Mr. Martínez. It would not have happened in the Steve Jobs era.

        No, I disagree respectfully with your view. We are seeing a major cultural, social paradigm shift of many magnitudes where long held institutional behaviors will be called out forcefully by workers demanding appropriate change. I also see where management (even those who believe erroneously they have their act together) will need to re-examine how they go about treating all workers in a “fair & equitable” manner with dignity and respect.

        1
        May 15, 2021
        • David Emery said:
          Mebbe. It’s also tightly coupled to the state of the economy. Worker complaints are a lot easier to make when hiring is tough.

          But problems with HR are nothing new, and that was my point. In my experience, it’s compounded by the lack of competence in the HR departments I dealt with in 30+ years, including unclear management direction, unqualified HR managers, stupid policies unevenly enforced, and the big gap between what HR told the employees (“we’re here to help”) and HR’s role in the corporation (“keep us out of court, and the employees quiet.”)

          And I’ll note on the one company where I was close to the management team, I called the CEO and told him, “The guy you’re proposing to hire as COO will be a disaster.” I was not the only person to make such a call. The candidate got hired anyway, on a 3 year employment contract. He spent 2 of those 3 years sitting on his ass at home, when he was ‘relieved of duties’ but not fired (because of the terms of that contract.) That was a significant financial hit for a small company.

          1
          May 16, 2021
  7. Bruce Oran said:
    The problem with viewing any event in context of culture is that it is relative to the times we live and subject to change, sometimes abruptly. What if Mr. Martinez was Ms. Martinez and wrote the same book from a feminist perspective? Would she be considered a misandrist and summarily terminated, or would it be viewed as justified given the many centuries of maltreatment of women at the hands of powerful men? Should it be? Maybe, maybe not ! Just a thought.

    3
    May 15, 2021
  8. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Bottom line is Apple needs to make this right and my suggestion is to give him a 4-pack of Air tags and call it a day.

    4
    May 15, 2021
    • Jerry Doyle said:
      @Michael Goldfeder: Agree! Apple messed this one up and I believe the reason is due to corporate organizations still struggling with this paradigm shift of many magnitudes beyond where they previously functioned in their traditional institutional arrangements. This Apple episode with Mr. Martínez goes to show how difficult it is going to be to navigate a new path in how to get it done correctly.

      Loved your comment. 🙂

      1
      May 15, 2021
  9. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    I ask, is it “cancel culture” or “speak up culture” trying to overcome historical prejudice?

    0
    May 17, 2021
  10. David Emery said:
    So sayeth the Macalope: “If you’re worried about García Martínez’s right to free speech, don’t be. He wrote a whole book! It was on the New York Times’ best seller list! Just ask him! His speech is not under threat. The First Amendment protects your right to speak your mind, it doesn’t say you can still get employed anywhere you want after you shoot your mouth off, no matter which great writer you think you sound like.”

    https://www.macworld.com/article/346788/macalope-apple-facebook-hiring-fiasco-antonio-garcia-martinez-inclusion-privacy-controversy.html

    0
    May 18, 2021

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