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Tripwire Interactive CEO out after supporting Texas anti-abortion law on Twitter

Chivalry 2
Chivalry 2 (Image credit: Tripwire Interactive)

What you need to know

  • Tripwire Interactive CEO John Gibson recently shared his support of an anti-abortion law in Texas, U.S.
  • The support, given via Twitter, drew backlash from game developers, including companies that have deals with Tripwire Interactive.
  • Following the outcry, Tripwire Interactive shared on Monday that Gibson was out, with a new interim CEO in place.

Tripwire Interactive CEO John Gibson is out, with Alan Wilson appointed as interim CEO, the company confirmed on Monday. This follows Gibson's comments on Twitter supporting a recent Texas anti-abortion law.

"Proud of #USSupremeCourt affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat. As an entertainer I don't get political often. Yet with so many vocal peers on the other side of this issue, I felt it was important to go on the record as a pro-life game developer," Gibson wrote.

These comments drew immediate ire from game developers, including several public statements of disavowal from teams whose games are published by Tripwire Interactive. Tripwire Interactive publishes games like the shark role-playing game Maneater, as well as the recent Medieval combat title Chivalry 2, which has sold over one million copies and is rapidly becoming one of the best Xbox multiplayer games available.

"This perspective is not shared by our team, nor is it reflected in the games we create. The statement stands in opposition to what we believe about women's rights," wrote Torn Banner Studios, developer of Chivalry 2.

"The comments given by John Gibson are of his own opinion, and do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company. His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners and much of our broader community," Tripwire Interactive notes in its press release. "Our leadership team at Tripwire are deeply sorry and are unified in our commitment to take swift action and to foster a more positive environment."

Tripwire also notes that interim CEO Wilson will be holding a town hall and other meetings to address the concerns of Tripwire Interactive employees and partners alike.

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

54 Comments
  • How much of a loudmouth you need to be to make a statement like that, that's known to be polarizing on your audience to say the least? And that will cost the company business, and probably your position too.
    It's ok to have a political stance but honestly, business is hardly the place to talk about it.
    I didn't think people could be that stupid, but I've seen it elsewhere.
  • If only businesses weren't political right now, but all of them are. Can't have your cake and eat it, too.
  • Sure, but part of what makes a business work is precisely to avoid that as much as possible. Take a look at Nintendo. You won't have them making that sort of statement one way or the other, about any political issue. Why? Because their aim is to sell videogames, and they have a neutral and clean reputation precisely because they take care of it. I have something happen in my city, in a country that's violently polarized between two parties. There was a restaurant that explicitly said it was not for those who are with the "B" party. Using insults and all.
    That means that straight out of the game, the restaurant owner chose to have half the business they could have. They've made an enemy of half of the people that could go there and try their food.
    I think that's a stupid way to do business, and a sure way to fail. Which finally happened, of course those idiots didn't last long and the restaurant closed its doors. No aggressive political signs to be found now in the place where it used to be.
  • I think if this is the Florida restaurant you are referring to it closed for it ran out of food due to the popularity of their position. I agree it is stupid to wave into politics as a business but please get the facts straight when posting.
  • so you're saying the restaurant sold out and had to shut down the business because they didn't restock? that doesn't makes any sense
  • Read the news...that is what is being reported.
  • Restaurants plan based on past numbers and current flow. If suddenly their patrons increase 200%, they're going to run out in the short term barring any miracle of being able to put in an order and have it fulfilled and delivered within a couple of days.
  • And yet liberal employees and entertainers make "loudmouth" statements daily...without backlash from corporate minders.
  • yes, because that law is fcked up on many ways
  • This is where the bullshit starts folks take note 3😄
  • I no longer support Tripwire for this move... He should be able to have his opinion and share it. Like many opponents of this measure has without retribution or fear of firing... I mean why can't someone be against executing babies? He wasn't talking for the company as a whole... just his personal opinion as a pro-life game developer. It's weird that bacteria can be life on Mars, but a heartbeat can't be life on earth.
  • Simple, having one of their high ranking individuals express opinions like that, no matter which side they did it for, puts their business at risk, because it's a polarizing issue. It's the opposite of playing it safe. If you have a company you should have no interest in reducing your potential customers for any reason. You can have your personal stance on a lot of political issues like that one, but it could harm the company.
    For example, you decided that you don't want to buy their games because they fired him. Other people already had decided not to buy their games for what he said. See how everyone loses? That's not the way a company is run. And now the damage is already done.
  • Tell that to every other tech company out there, and I would agree with you. Fact is, it's only okay to have opinions on one side of the isle nowadays or else your career is over. It's mostly because social media is primarily used by one side of the isle and tech media is mostly one side of the isle.
  • The thing is, though, if you're going to bring the company into it then it should be a company decision, not one individual effectively speaking as a company spokesman. Even if that wasn't his intention, that's how it looks. Taking Microsoft as an example, they have made a company decision to stand on one side of certain issues.
  • Many companies out there have higher ups that say things that many other employees don't agree with. Unfortunately, this is 'if you don't have the same beliefs as everyone else you are unable to make a good living'. Leaving many to be silent. The lack of conversation on topics is leading to groups that are radicalizing in both directions, one to the left, one to the right. One in public making the other one have conversations privately. This mindset is not going to end well for anyone.
  • CEOs and high level employees have restrictions on their lives put on by their contract. For example, a supervisor in Target will loose his job if it's found out he step foot in a Walmart
  • Where do you get your info? I sell to Walmart and most of the employees in corporate buy online from Amazon. Amazon is eating their lunch.
  • Copiondor, you are 100% correct.
  • fdruid, in principal, I could agree with that: keep political opinions to yourself in the workplace. It's probably one of the reasons I don't use my real name on this account, so that my political views don't become a topic of discussion in my work life: I don't think politics should be discussed at work. However, there is a huge hypocrisy in this, in that you don't see people fired for expressing what we would mostly all agree are left-leaning views. Many fired for saying "all lives mattered" no one fired for tweeting "Black Lives matter." Trump banned from Twitter for expressing his opinion. Virtually no one on the left banned for expressing theirs, even with clearly far more vitriolic and incendiary language (by any objective measure). Papa Johns founder forced out for using the 'n' word as an example during an internal discussion on race and the evolving language (he didn't call anyone that or suggest it was OK to use it). No one fired for constant public references to "too many old white men" or for suggesting that white people are a/the problem. Former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was forced out for expressing his opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman. No execs fired for expressing their opinion supporting same-sex marriage. This list could go on for pages. For what it's worth, I think we should all be completely color blind (but support people celebrating their own ethnicity or gender choices, if they wish), am pro-choice, and fully support same-sex marriage and am proud to have been in the wedding party for a groom of one such wedding, but so what? Expressing an opinion on a law is just that: an opinion. I don't have to agree with you on everything to respect you for all the things you do that are great. That notion seems completely absent from those activists on the left. I think the zeal with which some people seek to censor different opinions is the real news story and by far the greatest cause for concern. It's good that we all have different opinions and views, as long as we're comfortable discussing and debating them (though maybe not at work, where the focus should be on making the company successful). That melting pot of ideas is what drives creative tension and growth. To fire or ostracize those with different opinions is the only crime here.
  • 45 was banned from Twitter for lying repeatedly, not because he was expressing an unpopular opinion.
    Facts do matter.
  • chidoro42, that's not factually correct. I mean, that's not why Twitter says they banned Trump. They and Facebook say they banned Trump for inciting violence, something that their terms of use prohibit. Individual posts are sometimes blocked for being false. I'm not aware of any major public officials being banned for false statements. But as simple as it sounds, "facts" can be subjective (at least the left's reasoning for defining a fact can be, apparently). For example, doctors have had posts removed reporting that they successfully prescribed Hydroxychloroquine to patients. Now, this could very well be the simple case that 98% of COVID patients get better anyway, so their results that most patients treated with Hydroxychloroquine recovering is not surprising. But those posts were removed because someone else's view on "facts" was deemed more important than the actual facts being presented. Twitter blocked the NY Post story on Biden's son's laptop, even though it had named sources and was better supported than many other stories they allowed. They eventually turned around on that and admitted they were wrong, but the damage was already done. Further, most of what we all see on Facebook is nonsense. It's rarely fact based. It's often ad hominem attacks (and often violent in nature) against people of the opposing political view. Facebook and Twitter (and YouTube and others) are much more aggressive in tackling and blocking those views from the right than from the left, even when normalizing for certain potentially incendiary words or themes. Lastly, saying "Trump lied" is a nice meme, and there are clearly many cases where he exaggerated (saying something was the biggest or most or giving numbers that were excessive), but so do all politicians. I don't think he was any more dishonest than any others of either party. I notice Biden has picked up the common Trump exaggeration of saying, "No one ever thought ..." Is that a lie? It's not true. Biden probably knows it's not true. However, I think we all recognize that politicians spin, exaggerate, and sure, even lie. It's what they do. You know the old expression: "How do you know if a politician is lying? His lips are moving."
  • He’s a pathological liar. It’s not a meme, it’s a horrible fact. He did and does so at an unprecedented level of frequency. Trying to pull a whataboutism doesn’t work here.
  • chidoro42, in general, I'd agree that just because the other side does something wrong, that doesn't make it OK when your side does something similar wrong. However, politicians lie and exaggerate continuously. Government is an inherently corrupting employer. I don't think you can do the job if you're honest. The best defense against dishonest politicians is keeping government small so their deceptions have minimal impact on our lives. With all of that generic information out of the way, most of the "lies" of substance Trump has been accused of are based on accusations of his political adversaries and deserve no more credit than Trump's words. Do you believe every time Ted Cruz says that Biden lied? No? Good. Never take the word of a person's political opponent as truth, because again, politicians lie. It's what they do. Beyond that, your assertions just show your own political perspective. They do not impugn Trump any more than my criticisms of Pelosi would prove her guilty.
  • Again, there is no comparison between the pathological nature of 45’s lies and the sheer quantity of them and any of the examples you are trying to equate this with. Regardless of how long a dissertation you will write in response does not change this.
  • Assertions and accusations without hard facts that are not reasonably disputable do not mean anything. You make the claim, but still have not provided any evidence to support your claim. This reflects a view forged in an echo chamber where you and the people you talk with all just assume Trump lied. Absent evidence, I'll assume they're just the accusations of political adversaries. I've heard the lie accusations from CNN and NY Times. The material ones have all been discredited to my satisfaction. I would concede that Trump lied/exaggerated about the crowd size at his inauguration and about the magnitude of the danger of COVID in the early days (per Woodward's book). Quantity also doesn't matter, if every example is easily disputed: the bigger the target (and POTUS is the biggest target there is), the bigger the budget and effort to produce accusations, so quantity reflects the office of the accused, not the merit of the accusations. Having said that, I don't doubt that you may be able to find some additional minor indisputable lies. See my prior points about all politicians.
  • CNN. Maddow, Lemon all lie repeatedly and they are not banned. There are two sets of rules...
  • Everyone is against executing babies. A heartbeat is simply electrical impulses in muscle tissue. That's not what makes a person a person. If you can't have an honest discussion then you're not having a discussion at all. When people have to pretend that a situation is something other than it is in order to argue against it, you know that they don't have the facts on their side. As for his comments, like it or not, he's a representative of that company so he is always representing that company. He has a right to his opinion but he doesn't have the right to be the head of a company. Women work for that company; women whose rights are being denied by the law he's supporting. Why should the company have to keep in a position of authority over those women?
  • John, no two people need share agreement on when life begins or what makes a person a person -- is it at conception, at start of a heartbeat, at start of brain activity, at birth, at viability outside the womb (a moving target as science improves), at ability to survive without parental care, at the legal age of majority? The answers vary from person to person. My wife and I don't even agree on this. But clearly, if you believe that a "person" is a living being, for whatever reason (your religion, your scientific analysis, etc.), at that point, that person is entitled to legal protection such that killing/terminating it is not permissible. In the US, we generally all agree that after a baby is born, it merits that protection. Parents are prosecuted for killing their born babies, however young. But an hour before birth? A day? A month? 8 months? 8.9 months? In many states, a murderer who kills a pregnant woman is charged with 2 murders. Clearly reasonable people can reach different conclusions on this. Personally, I'm pro choice because in general (especially for the first trimester) I respect the choices of the woman over a subjective law and want government to have as little power to interfere in all our lives as possible, but I don't support late term abortion absent a medical risk to the mother because by that point, it's pretty clearly a baby. However, that's just my opinion. I respect that everyone reading this may have a different one. I respect that John Gibson had a different opinion -- he has every right to it. The problem with firing him for his comments is the massive, planet-sized hypocrisy: I have not even heard of anyone called on to be fired for expressing what most would agree is a view from the left (other than as a foil for this very hypocrisy). While some, myself included, have suggested that it was unfortunate that MS President Brad Smith has taken some political positions and that he should not have, I don't recall a significant movement that he had to go. We just wish he would have kept his politics to himself. The presidents and CEOs and other senior people at Twitter, Facebook, and Google are constantly expressing their political opinions. The right (in general, obviously there are close-minded people on all sides) is tolerant of different views and supports the discussion and debate. The left does not. It wants you ostracized, fired, blocked from social media, prohibited from speaking. Which position seems more fundamentally fair to you? If you support, the firing of John Gibson, then fairness dictates you also call for the firing of the majority of executives at most tech companies. Conversely, if you support the rights of other tech company execs to express their opinions, then firing Gibson is wrong. Otherwise, what you're saying is that these are not opinions but facts and that, like the Spanish Inquisition, if you don't share our view of the facts, we're coming for your head.
  • "If you support, the firing of John Gibson, then fairness dictates you also call for the firing of the majority of executives at most tech companies. " That's not true. John Gibson's opinion crossed the line. What if said that that no women were allowed into his buildings unless they were accompanies by men, or that no minorities were allowed into his buildings? His firing was well deserved and I'm glad it happened so swiftly.
  • mythos13, what line? Whose line? Who gets to say where the line is? He supported a law that obviously bears the support of the majority in one of the largest states in the country. How in any rational discussion could that be deemed crossing a line? Your straw man counter examples are not parallel at all. Those involve discrimination, and are in fact illegal. He supported a law that passed. Further, abortion rights or pro-life rights for a developing baby are incredibly subjective. I could argue either side of that effectively and present data and reasons in support of protecting lives of unborn babies or the rights of the mother to make her own decisions. If there is any issue where there is no such "line" because there are so many well-thought-out opinions, it's this one. Note, like you, I also don't agree with the law. I think it's a bad law. But that has NOTHING TO DO WITH whether or not I support his right to express his opinion, at least as much as people with differing opinions, like you and I have.
  • The line is that he espoused an extreme position that called for women to succumb to forced breeding. A law that was put in largely put into effect by bunch old men who do not have a clue about the the life-long changes that would be forced onto women. Their education and/or career could be severally affected and would fall behind their peers. And their bodies would never be the same again. Why do call a foetus an unborn baby? Is sperm or an egg also an unborn baby? It's outrageous that the Bill of Rights doesn't protect woman from this. The US Supreme Court is third world where religion is supplanting science.
  • mythos13, I think your post here is a good example of an extreme leftist comment. I'm pro-choice, but banning abortions is absolutely not "forced breeding." Forced breeding, would, as the term implies, involved forced non-consensual sex, repeated until pregnancy, which no one has ever suggested. I'm sure we'd all agree that would be far, far worse. I agree with you that women should be able to make this choice, but it has nothing do with men vs. women. I don't know if you're a man or a woman, and that has no bearing on your right to your opinion. My wife, a woman, is absolutely anti-abortion. I (a man) am pro-choice on grounds that government should be small, limited, and stay out of people's lives (both men and women). The difference of opinion on whether abortion is a right or murder has to do with the definition of when life starts and which life (baby or mother) to prioritize. There is no obvious or easy answer to this topic. You and I may agree that the mother's life has priority over an early embryo, or maybe at any stage, but to suggest that anyone who thinks otherwise is adopting an extremist position is simply intolerant. Wise men and women will disagree on this, and that's OK. Please do not attack others for having different opinions from yours. The U.S. Constitution is not a set of laws. It outlines procedures that ensure a balance of power between courts, executive, and legislatures, and protects the people from the government. States and Congress pass laws to protect people from each other. In cases like this, the Supreme Court's sole role is to ensure laws, as written, don't violate the Constitution. By the way, the Supreme Court did NOT rule that this law is Constitutional and it may very well still be struck down in the future. They simply ruled that the case against it lacked the merit to proceed, which is a fairly common early conclusion. That's very different from ruling on the merits of the law itself. "Third world," as you said, would be letting emotions and a personal sense of right and wrong interfere with a proper legal analysis.
  • "The difference of opinion on whether abortion is a right or murder has to do with the definition of when life starts and which life (baby or mother) to prioritize" Actually it has to do with whether the law is going to be based on religion or science. Almost every other democracy does not have this problem because science takes precedence over religion in the vast majority of democratic nation's. Ireland also recently had to deal with this issue and it was a purely religion vs science battle there too. I'm not sure where they stand now--maybe science has triumphed there in the end but I'm not sure. "Forced breeding" is not best because it includes the conception when it shouldn't. But clearly they are being forced into a major life changing burden against their will. So what is a better term than "forced breeding"?. I'm a male but I'm outraged they would force this upon women and force this religious dictum upon society when one of the cornerstones of democracy is separation of church and state. The Texas Heartbeat law is now in affect and the Supreme Court let it stand. So as of right now Texas has entered the 3rd world when it comes to human rights. Of course it will be struck down or superseded at some point but who how long that will take and how many lives will be negatively impacted or ruined in the meantime? How many families will go hungry because they have to spend money they don't have getting an abortion elsewhere. How long before back alley abortions start bring up again. Texans are luckier than many red states in that state is inexorably trending blue and when that happens this law will be thrown out in a heartbeat.
  • mythos13, I appreciate your engaging on this subject. Certainly, when people chat like this, it gives us both an opportunity to learn something. I believe I can easily prove, purely based on science and logic, with no reference to religion, the same debate can occur, and that the religious argument is largely a red herring used by those who are strongly pro-choice to discredit those who disagree with them: There are those who believe life begins at conception, some at start of a heartbeat, some at start of electrically measurable brain activity, some when the fetus has and is able to move fingers and toes, some at viability outside the womb, some at birth, some even don't think babies deserve any rights until they are able to survive without parental care (so killing your own children is OK), and some not until the legal age of majority. Acknowledging that there are a very few who think that killing your own children is acceptable, the vast, vast majority, at least in the US, believe that after a child is born, it is entitled to the legal protections of the law, even though this places a life-changing burden on the parents, often (but not always) more so the mother than the father. The laws universally reflect this. Parents are prosecuted for killing their already-born babies, however young. Burden on the parents is not an excuse. So the question becomes at what point does the fertilized zygote gain the legal protections of the infant. Is it at birth? If so, does that mean that if a woman is in labor, but hasn't yet given birth, and she decides she doesn't want to be a mother, she can choose a last minute abortion? Does it matter if the baby's crowning yet? An argument could be made for this: if you believe the law requires a hard line separating no rights to the baby and full human rights, and that line should be birth, then this would make sense. For many others (certainly the majority of US citizens), the answer would be that at this point, the baby is already trying to work its way out into the world and deserves protection, at least if delivery at this point is not putting the mother's life at at an inordinate risk. OK, so we already have at least one gray area, where reasonable people will disagree regardless of any religious consideration, but it quickly gets more complicated than this. Let's keep working backwards. If the baby can't be terminated during labor, then doesn't that imply that the reasoning is that the baby has already demonstrated viability outside the womb? At least to many, that would be their reasoning. So in that case, we know that a baby is viable outside the womb without any special medical support at about 7-8 months of pregnancy. Certainly, a smaller portion would survive childhood born at 7 months than at 8.5, but many would. So, even if you disagree with this, I hope you agree that there are reasonable people would say that it's an arbitrary decision to ban abortions at labor, but not at 8.5 or 8 months. For them, viability of the baby is the benchmark. Then, for others, specifically because of science, not, as you suggested through an absence of science, they believe that viability should not be limited to "unassisted." For them, they believe that if the baby could survive outside the womb, even if it requires medical assistance to do so, then those babies should be protected. After all, this group reasons, millions of babies are born months prematurely every year and we have excellent care facilities to help them achieve a safe and healthy childhood. I hope you see the pattern here: for whatever scientific and logical criteria one person has for determining when the baby is a person deserving of the same rights of protection as any other human others can reasonably hold different views. Now, if you simply imagine forward to our medical and scientific capabilities improving over time, it's easy to imagine that at some point, they will be such that a baby could survive an entire pregnancy outside the womb. This effectively covers everyone else, all the way back to conception. Q.E.D.
  • I disagree, most religions dictate that life starts at conception and that's why it's still such a problem in the US with the Republican Party being so religious. For most democracies, life begins at birth, but that doesn't mean we should be terminating late term pregnancies and very few espouse no restrictions. There is no way we can determine when life beings so logically science chooses the point of birth and nations that separate religions and state do not have a problem with abortions. The vast majority are performed within 12 weeks and there is little or no legal abortions after 20 weeks unless its a medical emergency. "Now, if you simply imagine forward to our medical and scientific capabilities improving over time, it's easy to imagine that at some point, they will be such that a baby could survive an entire pregnancy outside the womb" Could be some slippery slopes in the future when you consider 75% of conceptions are naturally aborted--most before the woman even knows she was pregnant. So what about imagined future time when they can be saved from conception on. Could be charged with murder if you didn't have your foetus removed before it naturally aborted.
  • mythos13, I like your future considerations. That would be interesting to discuss. I would argue you could not be charged with murder for a life that doesn't exist, regardless of it having the potential to exist. It's like turning off the freezer in a sperm bank wouldn't be murder. But interesting topic! On the first part, you wrote, "most religions dictate that life starts at conception." That may be true, and while I don't think life starts then, neither the fact that many religions may believe that, nor that I don't, makes the perspective invalid. Most religions also dictate that murder and stealing are wrong. Does that mean they're not? I have not seen anyone anywhere in this discussion say that their position is based on word from a bible, holy text, or word from their supreme being. Certainly, I don't think that way. I'm not religious at all. All of ethics can be derived using logic and a few very basic starting premises. Religion just gives a shortcut for people who can't be bothered to go through the rigors of proving every ethical position (and I don't mean that pejoratively -- most of us are too busy to care about thinking through and challenging every ethical conclusion, just like most of us don't need to know every detail about how our food is grown). And faith can also be a powerful aid to people to stave off depression and survive other challenges in life. While I'm not religious, I'd say that religions have probably done more good than bad over the course of human civilization (and yes, I'm considering things like modern terrorism, the Spanish inquisition, and Galileo's home imprisonment for daring to describe the movement of planets around the sun). The only people here who have raised religion as a factor are those who have voiced pro-abortion positions. Granted, that was in the context of criticizing its influence, but that suggests that you travel in circles where there is strong agreement that religion = bad in some way, otherwise you wouldn't use it as an argument. (It would be like saying, "Sure people believe X, some people believe the Earth orbits the sun too!" -- you would only say that if you were surrounded by people who believed the opposite.) From a logical proof perspective, you're saying that because A intersects with B, and C also intersects B, A must equal C, which is clearly incorrect. (Religion can encourage people to hold onto false beliefs. Some people are pro-life for religious reasons. Therefore pro-life is a false belief.) That is a logical fallacy.
  • that's not what that's about, the subject is much more complex than that and we (men) should be the last people to have a saying... Just saying
  • First, it’s still an embryo at 6 weeks. Second, it’s not a heartbeat at that time, it’s electrical impulses and the machine used simulates a heartbeat. It’s not a cardiovascular system or a functioning heart at that age.
    If you’re going to crate a picture in your head and run with it, you should, at least, create a more accurate one.
  • chidoro42, I think you're right on that -- I believe it's at about 20 weeks that a fetal heartbeat can regularly be detected with a simple stethoscope. However, the merits of the TX law (and I think you and I agree that it's not a good law), are largely irrelevant to whether or not the CEO should be permitted to express his support for a law that passed without fear of losing his job.
  • Comments against what others think, and you are no longer employed because some people do not like it. No matter how anyone feels about the statement, that is not grounds for dismissal from your job. So much for freedom of speech anymore. If the person used his personal account is one thing; if he used his work account, that is another.
  • you're so wrong and obviously you never had a high level position in a company. Contracts tent to have restrictions that have repercussions in your private life, slep with an employee? fired, your public opinion is against the opinion of the company? fired, just to mention a couple. You agree to restrict your "freedom" in favor of taking over the position, it always been like that, this isn't new at all.
  • argeniszurita, some companies do have such terms, some don't. The problem is the hypocrisy. There is a clear bias in the enforcement on these against opinions from the right. There is virtually no enforcement against those who express views on the left. I don't like a policy against expressing political opinions publicly, because I don't think people should be prohibited at the cost of their job for doing so. At the same time, I agree that it's bad form and practice to express those opinions -- it tends to create division and so is not good for workplace culture. But whatever policy a company has, it should be enforced equally for all opinions. And note that one person's politics is another person's fundamental beliefs, so this is a very complex issue to police for a company. For example, I'm pro-choice. That seems clearly political and has no bearing on my business activities, so maybe a good subject to avoid. However, I'm also strongly pro-capitalist and anti-socialist. I think it's in the business interests of my company to be pro-capitalist, because socialist policies destroy businesses and will hurt the lives of all my employees of all colors, religions, and genders. This is especially true for smaller companies who can't afford the army of lawyers to navigate the layers of regulations socialist policies promulgate. These arguments are important to promote to help my business and industry... but isn't that also politics? What if I think that affirmative action policies promote racism rather than help set things right, or vice versa? That's also directly relevant to some workplace issues. The problem is the massive hypocrisy from those who assert that there are subjects where one opinion is OK to express and others are not.
  • How many of us are walking on eggshells at work, say the wrong thing and the mob will come after you? How many new diversity HR roles are there now in a average corporation? If you make one microaggression against the "protected" groups you are fired.
  • I'm largely with you, but this is why, long before the PC Mob was a problem, it was generally good advice to avoid talking politics at work. Rarely can anything good can come from it. However, expressing an opinion outside of work should be safe. I admit it gets tough with social media. Regardless of what you think about what Gibson said. If it would rile up the majority of the company and create strife in place of team cohesion, then maybe it was a bad thing to do for purely professional reasons. I still don't think that should ever be a cause for termination (unless his contract specifically forbids expressing political opinions outside of work, which seems extremely unlikely), but combined with several other issues, I could see it being a factor in assessing his judgement by a board of directors. But if that were the case, to avoid appearing to have a political agenda, they should be clear that the content of his comment was NOT the cause, just the fact that he made a political statement, and take steps to cool the temperature and present a balanced view. They did NOTHING like this. Therefore, based on the public facts I can see, the Board is more at fault than Gibson here.
  • i think if a woman wants to have a abortion let her its her right and body
  • I agree, but for the person who believes the embryo is a living person, they will see it as murder and want it stopped. There's no simple answer or argument to win with this. Even in my case, while I think abortions should be available early in pregnancy, I don't think they should right before birth ("late term abortions"), because at that point, it is more like murder than a choice for the mother to make. But this is highly subjective and reasonable, intelligent people will reach different conclusions for entirely fair and rational reasons. I would agree with a criticism that it may not have been good team-cohesion judgement to wade into this topic as a CEO, because you can reasonably expect that half of your team (and maybe much more than that depending on its demographics) will disagree and it helps to have a team who respects and wants to follow their leader. However, if this were an isolated instance of weak judgement, and given that he was just expressing his personal opinion, firing for this seems way, way over the top to me. The Board is more at fault than the CEO here. This whole issue is amplified by the leftist political leanings of boards of late, firing for things like this, but not raising a finger against similar cases of much more polarizing speech on the left. I would not fire anyone at my company for expressing an opinion, no matter how much a disagreed with it, unless it were clearly an opinion against the company itself. I believe my board would treat me the same. I hope...
  • Free Speech does not mean Free of Consequences of said speech. Only the Federal Government is barred from restraining your political speech by the 1st Amendment, not private corporations. If I go to work for Chick-Fil-A as a manager and then start spouting "Allah Akbar" at work, and/or demanding my store remain open on Sundays, or refuse to participate in group prayers during meetings, they will fire me, and be within their rights to do so as their employment contract explicitly states they only employ people who espouse "Christian Values" and participate in "Christian Prayers" during meetings in management positions. Private Corporations have PRIVATE employment standards and are free to enforce them at will. FYI - Religious Freedom is a two-edged sword. Get over it.
  • Khaaannn, I don't believe I have brought up religion in this thread. It is not a factor in this discussion as far as I can see. It may or may not be a motivation for the CEO's words, but he didn't raise it as a reason. If he had, it may in fact have protected him, because religion, like race, is a legally protected class in the US, and people can't be fired for either. I completely agree with you on the legal rights of the corporation to hire or fire, especially the CEO (even more so than other positions). I also don't believe I've said anywhere on this topic that they were not within their legal rights. So, with those two things out of the way, and admittedly only based on the publicly available facts (maybe he was also stealing from the company or blackmailing half the board), it is my opinion that the Board was wrong to fire the CEO for expressing his opinion. Further it seems to follow a pattern of this kind of treatment of anyone who expresses an opinion that most would agree is a more right-leaning opinion. While there are some, there are only a tiny number in comparison, who have lost their senior positions as a result of expressing left-leaning opinions.
  • Objection: Entry of Facts not in Evidence. CEO's are hired on "Right to Work" basis . They are employed by the Board of Directors, not the company. (That is why they have separate and unique, negotiated employment contracts.) Any Board can fire any CEO at any time for any reason. Full Stop. End of Discussion. If it hurts your fee-fees, tough. Deal with it.
  • Khaaannn, they don't come more pro-capitalist than I, and I have given lectures on the chief role of the board being to hire and fire the CEO, and to stay out of management other than very high level policy (like authorizing the company Core Values and Beliefs, Purpose, and Vision and executive compensation structure). Again though, as stated above, there's little question that they have the legal right to do what they did. Seems to me we agree on that. The issue is: should the board have done that? I would say (admittedly based only on the incomplete information available through the press), no, they should not have. It's poor management on their part and it's bad for the social ethos of the country. That has nothing to do with their authority to do so, which it sounds like both you and I support. Depending on his contract, he may have a substantial golden parachute, which would be triggered by board termination. Most senior executives have rich severance packages, so this is likely. If so (I have no idea, other than that it's common), then this move may have just cost stockholders millions of dollars. Further, they have now shown that they will fire on a whim for merely expressing an opinion. I'm sure they'll find a permanent replacement, but that's not the kind of environment many executives would tolerate. That means they've also effectively reduced the size of their talent search pool and made a future CEO more expensive. All reasons not to engage in this kind of puerile, knee-jerk behavior. Boards should be better than that. On a legal aside, you are incorrect that CEO's don't work for the company. They typically can only be fired by the board, which is the same as you said, so maybe this is merely in academic distinction. However, on a strictly legal matter, the CEO is an employee of the corporation, same as everyone else (well, not the Board -- board members are not employees). It's just that his employment is at the discretion of the board.
  • How about the new Surface?
  • Thank you for getting us back onto something important and at least slightly less divisive, Bfalcon1! Personally, I'm most excited for the Duo 2. Can't wait learn more about it.
  • Wow cant believe the comments on this issue im 100 % anti abortion and speaking as a proud dad with 3 kids. When my girlfriend became pregnant with my first child the idea of abortion disgusted us both he is now a 21 year old electical engineer and im so proud of him but this conversation has turned into whether its legal/ illegal about what the ceo has the right to speak out about abortion. I suspect alot of the people commenting on this issue dont have kids this is about morality if you dont have the responsibility to use contraception then dont talk Bollocks.It takes 2 to tango, abortion is an easy way out for people that wont take responsibility for their actions. Becoming a dad made a man out of me some of you should try it.
  • Oh and by the tripwire interactive is now on my **** list i will vote with my wallet.