Twitter Hires White Man as New Head of Diversity

Jeffery Siminoff (Twitter)
Jeffery Siminoff (Twitter)

Twitter has hired former Apple executive Jeffery Siminoff, a white male, as vice president of diversity and inclusion, the company announced Monday.

Siminoff had held similar roles at Apple and Morgan Stanley for the past several years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Siminoff’s hiring was announced on Twitter Monday by company human resources executive Brian Schipper. Siminoff will replace outgoing diversity chief Janet Van Huysse, and is expected to begin work in January, according to TechCrunch.

The new hire comes as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey attempts to diversify the company’s workforce after years of criticism from its colleagues in tech and the media.

In an August blog post, the company vowed its commitment to “a more diverse Twitter” and set goals it hoped to achieve by the end of 2016. Among those goals was increase in female employees to 35 percent, an increase in underrepresented minorities overall to 11 percent, and an increase in underrepresented minorities in leadership roles to 6 percent.

In addition to revamped company hiring practices, Dorsey announced changes to the company’s board of directors; three white board members–Vice Chairman Peter Fenton, investor Peter Currie and Chernin Group CEO Peter Chernin–will reportedly leave the company when their terms expire over the next two years.

The company’s shakeup of its Board of Directors came just a few days after a critical blog post from former engineer Leslie Miley called Twitter’s hiring practices into question.

“There were moments that caused me to question how and why a company whose product has been used as an agent of revolutionary social change did not reflect the diversity of thought, conversation, and people in its ranks,” Miley wrote in a Medium post.

The company has long fought off negative perceptions about its diversity and hiring practices. In July of last year, a 57-year-old former employee sued Twitter for age discrimination, and the company was sued again earlier this year by a female employee for gender discrimination.

Last year, Rev. Jesse Jackson launched a “digital inclusion initiative” demanding tech companies in Silicon Valley diversify their workforces.



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