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CEO Makes Case For Race-Based Layoffs

Twilio co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson announced Wednesday that his customer engagement platform would be conducting a round of layoffs with a race-based focus.

Lawson published a blog post on Twilio’s website warning that the company will immediately downsize its workforce by 11% to align its “investments more squarely with [its] priorities,” like promoting anti-racism and anti-oppression.

“We ultimately found that some investments no longer make sense and identified areas where we can be more efficient,” he stated. He said the firings are a result of the platform growing too quickly and losing its “focus on [the] most important company priorities,” including profitability and its commitment to anti-racism, according to the letter.

The company used a “rigorous selection process” to determine which employees would be impacted through its reconstruction, according to Lawson.

“Today’s layoffs are about aligning our investments more squarely with our priorities, as well as running our company more efficiently overall,” Lawson said. (RELATED: ‘Racial Reckoning’: How US Universities Are Watering Down Standards In The Name Of ‘Diversity’)

“As you all know, we are committed to becoming an Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression company. Layoffs like this can have a more pronounced impact on marginalized communities, so we were particularly focused on ensuring our layoffs – while a business necessity today – were carried out through an Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppression lens,” Lawson added.

Those laid off will receive a severance of at least 12 weeks of salary plus one week of pay for every year with the company and will have their stock options fully vested, according to Lawson.

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