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Tech CEO’s Racist Rant Against Asian Family Costs Him His Job

Solid8’s Michael Lofthouse says he’s once again trying to get sober and has enrolled in an antiracist program.

Kelly Teal

July 14, 2020

3 Min Read
No Racism
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The CEO of a small cloud consultancy has resigned in the wake of his viral racist rant.

Lofthouse-Michael_Solid8.jpg

Solid8’s Michael Lofthouse

Michael Lofthouse, who founded and led Solid8 in San Francisco, exited his role over the weekend.

“I will make it my duty to ensure my personal actions do not continue to have a detrimental impact on those people closest to me,” he said in a statement to news media. “I have once again begun my journey back to sobriety and have enrolled in an antiracist program with immediate effect.”

Lofthouse did not say whether he voluntarily relinquished his post or whether he was forced to do so. An Andrew Hibbs in the state of Georgia started a Change.Org petition demanding Lofthouse’s removal. The initiative has garnered more than 26,000 signatures.

Read Channel Futures/Channel Partners’ Black Lives Matter statement, which also calls for diversity and inclusion in the channel.

Lofthouse’s departure comes after a July 4 incident when, by all accounts, he launched into an unprovoked tirade against an Asian family. Both parties were at a high-end restaurant in Carmel Valley when Lofthouse started hurling epithets.

“[G]o back to whatever [expletive] Asian country you’re from,” Lofthouse says on video captured by Jordan Chan (warning: language). Lofthouse adds, “Trump’s gonna [expletive] you.”

Chan wrote about the incident on Instagram.

“We were celebrating my tita’s birthday, literally just singing happy birthday to her and taking pictures, when this white supremacist starts yelling disgusting racist remarks at us,” she said.

Lofthouse even went so far as to comment on Chan’s post, then later deleted the message.

https://twitter.com/jvn_11/status/1280221781442170880

Chan told USA Today she had never dealt with racism on par with Lofthouse’s attacks.

“Never on the level where somebody completely unprovoked felt obligated to voice their hatred for absolutely no reason,” Chan said.

In his July 11 statement, Lofthouse said his “comments towards the families involved were racist, hurtful and deeply inappropriate. The reactions to what was said have been deserved and I wholeheartedly acknowledge that I am complicit in a system that enables this behavior and these broken beliefs to exist but I am dedicated to changing.”

Solid8, established in 2017, is a cloud computing consultancy. Its website contains no information. On its LinkedIn page, the company bills itself as a firm that guides clients through the cloud vendor selection process for solutions including UCaaS, SD-WAN, security and more. Lofthouse has removed his personal LinkedIn page, and Twitter blocked his account. He has a history of vandalism and a subsequent restraining order filed against him, as well as since-dismissed charges of domestic battery and destruction of telephone lines. Lofthouse came to the United States in 2010 from the U.K.

Lofthouse unleashed his racist rant amid a nationwide cultural reckoning, one the technology sector also faces. Oracle and Cisco stand out as two well-known names under scrutiny for a lack of diversity and allowing harassment, respectively.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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