Oath Senior Vice President to Staff: 'Go Fuck Yourself' [Updated]

Image: Oath
Image: Oath

Back in June, Verizon closed a $4.5 billion merger to swallow Yahoo, agglomerate its legacy AOL brands into the mix, and rename the big, mess of memorable (and not so memorable) brands to Oath. The transition has not been terribly smooth for some employees, as evidenced by an exchange during an “Oath: All-In” full company meeting today.

During the Q&A portion of the meeting today an employee asked about transportation benefits for those working out of Sunnyvale—where the company occupies seven different addresses, according to its website. According to three employees, Yahoo holdover and Senior Vice President Jeff Bonforte gave the following reply (emphasis ours):

No more electricity, no more water, the food’s going away, your desks are being wheeled out tomorrow... the underlying message is ‘Go fuck yourself.’ The alternative message is ‘All those rumors are bullshit and fucking relax.’ Of course none of that stuff’s going away. We make money on that shit from you guys. How dare you?

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While the employees said Bonforte’s response was given in a joking manner, they indicated that the joke disturbed many on staff and came across as insensitive to lower-level employees concerned with their employment benefits. One noted that Bonforte “has a reputation for being crass,” and his response during this meeting was punctuated by uncomfortable laughs, followed by another executive demanding to know, “Where’s the rumor coming from?”

While other employees claimed to have skipped the meeting (and to do so whenever possible), theoretically this was an executive addressing a company of approximately 12,000. It appears to have upset those who bothered to listen in on the meeting, and do little to calm fears around health care, benefits, and other issues arising from the merger.

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We’ve reached out to Oath for comment and will update when we hear back.

Update 6:15 p.m.: “The question was with regard to commuter benefits for employees at our Sunnyvale campus, which Oath remains committed to providing. Jeff was speaking entirely in jest,” an Oath spokesperson said.

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Know what’s going on inside Oath and want it reported? We’d love to hear from you. Reach out to the author at Bryan.menegus@gizmodo.com

Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// bgmwrites@gmail.com Keybase: keybase.io/bryangm Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/

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DISCUSSION

I work for Oath. It’s a great company, with great benefits. This was said in humor, and should have been taken that way.

You know when you read something online that is CLEARLY sarcastic, and then there are 20 comments from people who didn’t get it. Same case applies.

It also should be noted that Oath is trying to find its voice. It’s been stated that we’re a company where it’s ok to swear (just not in a mean way). I think this was an attempt to have fun and be snarky.

Final note: my health and work benefits are amazing. While people have found things to complain about, I’m paying a fraction of what other people pay for health insurance, and I’m currently eating the last of my delicious and nutritious free lunch that work provides every day. Lighten up Francis.