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About one-third of employees at software company Basecamp quit days after bosses told them to keep ideology out of the workplace and focus on the company’s actual business.
“We make project management, team communication, and email software,” CEO Jason Fried wrote April 26. We don’t have to solve deep social problems, chime in publicly whenever the world requests our opinion on the major issues of the day, or get behind one movement or another with time or treasure. These are all important topics, but they’re not our topics at work.”
Tech journalist Casey Newton said about one-third of the company’s roughly 60 employees took buyouts shortly after, with one fuming: “Basically the company has said, ‘well, your opinions don’t really matter — unless it’s directly related to business…’ A lot of people are gonna have a tough time living with that.”
Newton reported at Platformer that woke tensions boiled over after, in December, a new hire “volunteered to help the company work on diversity issues.”
This included criticizing the fact that for years, many employees had contributed to a list called “Best Names Ever” in which they placed funny customer names — of “the sorts of names Bart Simpson used to use when prank calling Moe the Bartender: Amanda Hugginkiss, Seymour Butz, Mike Rotch.”