Late Wednesday, to the shock and dismay of free-speech loving conservatives, Parler CEO John Matze announced the company’s board has terminated his employment. The platform remains offline after being silenced by Apple, Google, and ultimately Amazon Web Services.
Matze co-founded Parler in 2018 with Jared Thomson and Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer. According to Matze, who said he did not participate in the decision, the Parler board decided to terminate his position. The former CEO wrote in a memo obtained by Fox News, “On Jan. 29, 2021, the Parler board controlled by Rebekah Mercer decided to immediately terminate my position as CEO of Parler. I did not participate in this decision,” Matze continued, “I understand that those who now control the company have made some communications to employees and other third parties that have unfortunately created confusion and prompted me to make this public statement.”
Matze, who has been an outspoken advocate for free speech after his company was crushed by AWS, indicated he has faced “constant resistance” to his original vision for Parler over the past several months following AWS’s decision to shut down the 15 million user Twitter alternative. He says he faced resistance against how to manage the social media site, as well as his strong belief in free speech, adding as an example, “I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation.”
Matze told Reuters that Parler now has an “executive committee” consisting of Matthew Richardson and Mark Meckler and that he had not been given a settlement. Parler investor and conservative media personality Dan Bongino spoke up late Wednesday in an impromptu press conference on Facebook,