Apple reportedly cuts ties with employee amid uproar over misogynistic writing

Antonio Garcia-Martinez, a recent hire, is apparently no longer working at Apple, after an uproar over his past writings slamming women as "soft and weak" and "generally full of shit."

Sareena Dayaram
Sareena Dayaram
Sareena Dayaram Senior Editor
Sareena is a senior editor for CNET covering the mobile beat including device reviews. She is a seasoned multimedia journalist with more than a decade's worth of experience producing stories for television and digital publications across Asia's financial capitals including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai. Prior to CNET, Sareena worked at CNN as a news writer and Reuters as a producer.
Expertise Huawei, Oppo, smartphones, smartwatches Credentials
  • More than a decade of journalism experience
Sareena Dayaram
2 min read
Apple computers
James Martin/CNET

Apple has cut ties with Antonio Garcia-Martinez, a recent hire and author, following backlash by employees angered by sexist remarks made in his book Chaos Monkeys, according to a report by Axios published late Wednesday.

Garcia-Martinez is a former Facebook product manager and started a new role on Apple's ads team in March, according to his LinkedIn profile. A screenshot from his book, published in 2016, circulating on Twitter calls women in San Francisco's Bay Area "soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit." 

The parting of ways with Garcia-Martinez follows a recent petition signed by at least 2,000 Apple employees calling for an investigation into the hiring of Garcia-Martinez, who is also a published author for WIRED. The petition was first published by The Verge

"We demand an investigation into how his published views on women and people of color were missed or ignored, along with a clear plan of action to prevent this from happening again," the petition read. It also said certain comments about women made in Chaos Monkeys "directly oppose Apple's commitment to inclusion and diversity."

News of Garcia-Martinez's hiring broke this week following a recent escalation of a feud between Apple and Facebook over Apple's new App Tracking Transparency feature on iOS 14.5. The feature prompts iPhone users who use apps like Facebook, for permission to track their web activity for advertising purposes. 

The now-implemented privacy feature, first unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2020, has drawn criticism from Facebook, which says the privacy change will hurt its lucrative advertising business. Facebook depends on data about its users to target them with online ads and to make money. A recent survey found only 5% of US daily users with iOS 14.5 have opted in so far. 

Garcia-Martinez's hiring suggests Apple is capitalizing on the opportunity to expand its own privacy-focused ad business. He worked on Facebook's ad targeting team from 2011 to 2013, reportedly rising to an influential position on the social network's ads team before he was fired. 

Both Apple and Garcia-Martinez didn't immediately respond to a CNET request for comment.