Employees of Basecamp, a popular software company, quit en masse on Friday after a ban on “societal and political” discussions.
The exodus came after a heated debate at the company about their inclusive policies. The original disagreement arose over a list of Basecamp customers with “funny names.” Some employees complained that the names were either Asian or African, and the list was offensive to them.
On Monday, CEO Jason Fried outlined several new policies including the ban on political speech. When employees expressed their opposition to the new policies, the company offered them a severance package.
Some of the employees took to Twitter to announce their exit from the company.
Here’s the controversial announcement that inspired the mass exit.
Most of the employees didn’t comment publicly on why they left, but simply cited the changes at the company. Among those who left the company were the head of marketing and the head of customer support.
On Wednesday, Basecamp co-founder and CTO David Heinemeier Hannson denied on CNBC that the move was intended to cut off criticisms from employees against the company that involve racial equity.