Twitter slammed for hiring Apple's (white) head of diversity

Criticized for being too white and male, Twitter comes up with an incredible solution.

Twitter is one of the Silicon Valley companies most criticized for a lack of diversity, and its latest hire isn't helping that image. The company recently announced that Jeffrey Siminoff will replace Janet Van Huysse as vice president of diversity and inclusion. Siminoff, who is white and male, was previously Apple's head of diversity and is a strong promoter of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. However, the move was criticized by diversity proponents like Mark S. Luckie, who didn't take issue with Siminoff himself, but rather the decision. "Not saying a white guy can't be head of diversity, but for a company that hires a majority white guys [sic] it sends the wrong message," he tweeted.

Twitter publicly promised to increase the number of women and under-represented minorities in 2015 after seeing declining numbers the year before. However, in a recent Medium post, the company's formerly highest-ranking black employee, Leslie Miley, said that Twitter's diversity problem won't be easy to fix. "There was very little diversity in thought and almost no diversity in action." He said that includes an "over-reliance on a limited number of schools and workplaces for talent, [which] has caused a type of group-think to dominate."

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson pointed out that "Blacks and Latinos over-index on using Twitter, but their board of directors and C-suite leadership remain all white," according to USA Today. Recent statistics show that 30 percent of Twitter users, but only six percent of Twitter employees are black or Hispanic. That also brought up another criticism -- Siminoff, like most Twitter execs, isn't exactly a prolific user, with only 800-plus tweets in five years. In fact, the only senior Twitter employee who tweets very much is CEO Jack Dorsey. And critics like Erica Joy think that Siminoff's tenure as diversity chief will be doomed unless Dorsey himself becomes extremely hands-on with the issue. "Nobody but the CEO is going to be able to fix [diversity problems]," she said in a Medium post.