John Matze, the CEO of conservative social media platform Parler has been fired according to a memo sent by Matze.
Fox Business reports:
“On January 29, 2021, the Parler board controlled by Rebekah Mercer decided to immediately terminate my position as CEO of Parler. I did not participate in this decision,” Matze wrote. “I understand that those who now control the company have made some communications to employees and other third parties that have unfortunately created confusion and prompted me to make this public statement.”
Matze wrote that over the past few months he has been “met constant resistance” to his original vision for the social media platform following Amazon Web Services’ decision to shut Parler down for failure to moderate “egregious content” related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Over the past few months, I’ve met constant resistance to my product vision, my strong belief in free speech and my view of how the Parler site should be managed. For example, I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation,” Matze wrote. “Over the past few weeks, I have worked endless hours and fought constant battles to get the Parler site running but at this point, the future of Parler is no longer in my hands. I want to thank the Parler employees, the people on Parler and Parler supporters for their tireless work and devotion to the company. They are an amazing group of diverse, hardworking and talented individuals and I have the utmost respect for them. Many of them have become my second family.”
Matze told staffers he will take a few weeks off before searching for a new venture.
However, as Matze claims he was suddenly kicked out of the company he helped build Fox News contributor and Parler co-owner Dan Bongino says there is more to the story. Bongino went to Facebook to say that Matze’s story “is not correct.”
Fox News reports:
“Folks, that’s not accurate, those are his statements not mine. I have no personal gripe against John, the CEO, at all, I want to be crystal clear, but John decided to make this public, not us, we were handling it like gentlemen,” Bongino said.
“We were the ones, in fact, fighting to get Parler back up. There was some really bad decisions made from people on the inside, and listen, this isn’t us airing dirty laundry. This is protecting a company that is absolutely committed to free speech, that I put the last year of my life into. Do you actually believe that someone else was on the side of free speech?”
However, Bongino said there were “two separate visions for the company” and the “free speech vision” originated from Bongino and other owners of the company. Bongino repeatedly claimed throughout the video that Matze’s version of events isn’t accurate.
“I’m really pissed off right now,” Bongino said. “The relationship with Parler and the CEO did not work out because the CEO’s vision was not ours. Everybody clear on that? Our vision was crystal clear. We needed to get up and fight back, some terrible decisions were made in the past, that led us to getting put down by Amazon and others.”