Bill Ackman, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban debate DEI efforts

Photo of author


Pershing Square Capital Management CEO Bill Ackman, like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, has made his point heard on DEI. Jinnah Moon-Bloomberg/Getty Images

Billionaires are putting pressure on X over diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

On Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the world’s richest person… wrote: “DEI is another word for racism. Anyone using it should be ashamed.”

he was in support of a long post On the reasons hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman is pressuring Harvard President Claudine Gay to resign, as she announced earlier this week. Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, is a Harvard alumnus and major donor to the university.

Gay received intense criticism last month for his response to lawmakers on anti-Semitism on campus following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7. In particular, she failed to condemn calls for genocide against Jews as a violation of university policy. Conservative activists subsequently alleged that she had plagiarized in her academic work, and suggested that she was unfit for the role of president, which she assumed the previous July.

“When they selected Claudine Gay, it was an indirect process in terms of race and gender,” said Vivek Ramaswamy, a Harvard alumnus, entrepreneur and GOP presidential candidate. Posted For X on Tuesday. “Here’s a radical idea for the future: Select leadership based on *competency*.”

When an X user express reaction Asking Musk whether DEI qualifies as racism, Musk competition: “Discrimination on the basis of race, which DEI does, is virtually the definition of racism.”

At this point, another billionaire weighed in: Mark Cuban, shark Tank Star and owner of the Dallas Mavericks (last month he sold his majority stake in the NBA team to families connected to the late Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson).

He said, “Let me help you and give you my thoughts on DEI.” express reaction To Musk.

He added, “Good businesses look where others don’t, to find the employees who will put your business in the best possible position to succeed.” “You may not agree, but I take it as such that there are people of different races, ethnicities, orientations, etc., who are routinely excluded from consideration for hiring. By expanding our hiring search to include them, we can find people who are more qualified. DEI-phobic companies’ loss is my gain.

Ackman responded to Cuba, Write,

“That’s exactly what I thought until I got the job. I encourage you to do the same and return. DEI is not about diversity, equity or inclusion. Trust Me. I fell into the same trap you did.”

musk replied Ackman got a “yes.”

Musk, who owns X, has been a frequent critic of DEI in recent weeks. In mid-December, he wrote: “’Diversity, equality and inclusion’ are campaign words for racism, sexism and other-isms. It is just as morally wrong as any other racism and sexism. Changing the target group doesn’t make it right!”

(The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Tesla in September, alleging it failed to investigate complaints of racist conduct and fired or retaliated against employees who reported harassment.) In other such cases, Tesla has said it does not tolerate discrimination and takes such complaints seriously.)

Ekman, similarly, wrote On Wednesday: “DEI is racist because reverse racism is racism, even if it’s against white people (and it’s worth mentioning that I even need to point this out).”

In his resignation note, Gay wrote, “It is troubling to have my commitments to confronting hatred and maintaining scholarly rigor doubted – two foundational values ​​that are fundamental to me – and to be the subject of personal attacks and threats is appalling. Is.” Motivated by racial hostility.”

Leave a comment