SendGrid CEO: Tech developer had to be fired because she 'divided the same community she was supposed to unite'

The woman who set the internet ablaze for tweeting out photos of men who offended her with inappropriate comments at a Santa Clara tech conference on Sunday had to be fired, in part, because “her actions have strongly divided the same community she was supposed to unite,” according to her former boss.

Adria Richards, a “developer evangelist” for Colorado-based SendGrid, an email delivery company, reported the comments via Tweeter during Sunday’s PyCon conference and included a photo of the group of men sitting behind her who made the comments.
Richards’ Tweet resulted in one of the men being fired by his employer, San Francisco-based PlayHaven, a mobile-game company.

Richards’ former boss, SendGrid CEO Jim Franklin, wrote that Richards “felt comments made behind her during a conference session were inappropriate and of an offensive, sexual nature. We understand that Adria believed the conduct to be inappropriate and support her right to report the incident to PyCon personnel. To be clear, SendGrid supports the right to report inappropriate behavior, whenever and wherever it occurs.

“What we do not support was how she reported the conduct. Her decision to tweet the comments and photographs of the people who made the comments crossed the line. Publicly shaming the offenders – and bystanders – was not the appropriate way to handle the situation. Even PyCon has since updated their Code of Conduct due to this situation. Needless to say, a heated public debate ensued. The discourse, productive at times, quickly spiraled into extreme vitriol.

“A SendGrid developer evangelist’s responsibility is to build and strengthen our Developer Community across the globe. In light of the events over the last 48+ hours, it has become obvious that her actions have strongly divided the same community she was supposed to unite. As a result, she can no longer be effective in her role at SendGrid.”

(Photo of Adria Richards courtesy Flickr/allaboutgeorge)

Dan Nakaso Dan Nakaso (72 Posts)

Dan Nakaso returned home to San Jose to help tell the story of Silicon Valley and the people who keep the Valley humming.