Posted on June 8, 2020

LinkedIn CEO Condemns Employees’ ‘Appalling Comments’ on Race

Shannon Bond, NPR, June 5, 2020

LinkedIn’s CEO has apologized to staff after anonymous employees made “appalling comments” about racism and diversity during a companywide meeting.

“We are not and will not be a company or platform where racism or hateful speech is allowed,” Ryan Roslansky wrote in an email to staff that was also posted on LinkedIn. Roslansky took over as CEO of the professional networking company this week.

The company, which is owned by Microsoft Corp., convened a virtual town hall over video Wednesday. Roslansky said more than 9,000 of the company’s 16,000 global employees joined to discuss racial bias following the death of George Floyd. {snip}

Some employees left anonymous comments in a chat box that appeared next to the video. They criticized the protests that have swept the country and questioned LinkedIn’s diversity initiatives, according to a report by The Daily Beast.

One comment read: “Blacks kill blacks at 50 times the rate that whites kill blacks. Usually it is the result of gang violence in the inner city. Where is the outcry?”


“A small number of offensive comments reinforced the very hard work we still have to do,” Roslansky said. He said the company had let staff ask questions without using their names “with the intention of creating a safe space for all. Unfortunately, that made it possible to add offensive comments without accountability.”

Noting that LinkedIn users are required to use their real identities, he said the company would not allow anonymous comments in future staff meetings. {snip}