Twitter has appointed a new head of diversity in the form of Jeffrey Siminoff. The announcement was made on Twitter, and sees Siminoff replace Janet Van Huysse.
Siminoff comes with plenty of top-tier experience, having served as director of worldwide inclusion and diversity at Apple for over two years. Prior to that, he was managing director of HR at Morgan Stanley, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Meanwhile, Huysse departs Twitter after six years at the company, during which she led its HR department with a focus on boosting diversity through the hiring of women and underrepresented minorities. That message of creating a diverse workforce is trickling down from the upper ranks of Twitter, most notably from CEO Jack Dorsey, who has made it his priority, according to Recode.
Twitter’s diversity issues have repeatedly come to the fore of late. Recent controversies include an ongoing gender discrimination lawsuit with a former employee and criticism from a former managerial-level engineer. In November, Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke out against the company, demanding it issue a specific account of minorities who were laid off during its recent downsizing, reports Fortune.
Siminoff is now charged with solving Twitter’s diversity problems. His appointment, however, hasn’t been unanimously welcomed. Tweets from former Twitter news manager Mark S. Luckie criticize the move, calling it a “step back.” Other users have also chimed in, claiming that hiring a white person for a post tackling diversity sends the wrong message. Check out a selection of the tweets, both welcoming and opposing Siminoff’s appointment, below.
Not saying a white guy can't be head of diversity but for a company that hires a majority white guys it sends the wrong message.
— Mark S. Luckie (@marksluckie) December 29, 2015
— Todd Sears (@toddsears) December 28, 2015
if your expert on diversity isn't actually diverse, then i've got issues with your hire. looking at you, @twitter.
— Caroline Sinders (@carolinesinders) December 29, 2015