Left-wing lawyers shake down Qualcomm, Facebook, and Oracle to appoint black board members
What's a lily-white law firm, headquartered in rich, ritzy, exclusive La Jolla (home of Mitt Romney), doing suing three big-tech giants for not having enough black people on their corporate boards?
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune:
A Qualcomm shareholder has sued the company's corporate directors for failing to bring Blacks onto the board or into top executive roles while repeatedly touting diversity efforts in public.
The lawsuit, which comes in the wake of widespread Black Lives Matter protests over racial inequality, is one of three shareholder derivative legal actions recently filed against technology giants by the law firm of Bottini & Bottini in La Jolla.
Other tech firms sued this month include Oracle Corp., on allegations similar to the Qualcomm suit, and Facebook on claims that it has no African Americans among its senior executives.
The Qualcomm case filed July 17 in San Diego federal court contends that the company's board is "all-white," and there are no Blacks in the top six C-suite executive jobs.
From Bottini's own website, here's how sincerity-challenged it sounds:
Bottini & Bottini Inc. unconditionally supports the Black Lives Matter movement. Many organizations have issued statements in support of the movement, but Bottini & Bottini has made a major commitment to the movement by being the first law firm in the United States to file lawsuits against corporate America to attempt to bring about much-needed increased diversity on the Board and among the senior executives at some of America's largest and most powerful corporations. On July 2, 2020, Bottini & Bottini filed the first lawsuit in the United States seeking such change. The case was filed in San Francisco against Oracle Corporation -- a company that has an abysmal record regarding diversity and discrimination and has no African Americans on its Board or among its top 40 senior executives, and which has been sued by the Department of Labor for underpaying women and minorities by $400 million over a four-year period. The same day, Bottini & Bottini filed another case against Facebook, a company which has no African Americans among its senior executives, and which has facilitated discriminatory advertising practices that have resulted in a massive boycott of the Company by its advertisers. On July 17, 2020, Bottini & Bottini sued Qualcomm, which has no Blacks on its Board or among its senior executives, and which employs only 1.5% African Americans at the company. The stark reality is that diversity must start at the top, and racism and discrimination cannot and will not be eliminated in this country unless we increase diversity at the very top, which in the case of corporate America means at the level of the Board of Directors and C-suite.
Statements of "support" for the BLM movement are necessary, but it is even more important to take action. For that reason, Bottini & Bottini has made a major commitment of resources and personnel to bring these groundbreaking lawsuits against corporate America. The companies named as defendants in these cases have all said the "right" things in the past about their supposed "strong commitment" to diversity and inclusion, but these statements ring hollow because the companies have not actually caused the changes to be made. We hope to bring about that change now through these important lawsuits, which seek to increase economic opportunities and representation for African Americans and other minorities at publicly-traded corporations.
How stupid do they think we are with all that virtue-signaling and self-promotion? A look at the Bottini & Bottini website shows that all of its attorneys are white as snow. Qualcomm, by contrast, to take one target, is 68% minority-populated, with board members from India and Brazil of multiple colors. How about some practicing what they preach?
And as for self-promotion, what's this ":Many organizations have issued statements in support of the movement, but Bottini & Bottini..." claptrap? Everyone is wicked except Bottini & Bottini? Nobody thought of this before?
Having taken a project management certificate program at San Diego Continuing Education, I learned a lot about what corporate boards are for and what chairmen are for. Board members make the most important decisions about the direction of the company, the CEO executes the plan, and the chairman keeps them from fighting with each other. Legislative, Executive and Judicial, kinda.
Appointing board members is arguably one of the most critical in terms of needing people who understand the industry and specifically how a company works, and it's a position that takes utmost trust. A chairman or CEO can be replaced if their results don't work out, but a board member is one of a group that pays close attention to operations and can fall into groupthink, or meld into the required cooperation and insider savvy from all sides to make a company profitable. In the tech industry, whites, South Asians, and East Asians have the largest talent pool, and the male component is higher than most other industries, so it's pretty natural that the people who would rise to board-member-able are going to be in those racial groups. And it's very important to have knowledgable people rather than perfect skin-tone bean-counting because profits are at stake.
The shakedown for determining board members by skin color is nothing but a bid to make American tech companies less knowledgable and less profitable, but much more virtue-signaling.
At Google, to take a benchmark example, 3.7% of the employees are now black, up from 1.9% in 2014. You can bet the wokesters at that company tried hard to get qualified Black people, and Being Google, they had their choice of Black talent. According to the Los Angeles Times, black people are in short supply in Silicon Valley and that's been known for awhile. A couple years ago Apple Computer spread a lot of cash to non-Silicon Valley cities to train minority coders because they couldn't find enough in Silicon Valley, and San Diego was one of them.
The LAT dismisses the educational system as the root of why there are not enough Black tech people, which is complete leftist bee ess, because we all know that Black children are trapped in failing schools under the oppressive and do-zero thumb of the teachers. The LAT instead blames networking good ol' boys networks, originating from venture capital firms, which finance the startups that eventually create the tech giants, because they have even fewer Black venture capitalists in their numbers, less than 1%. Maybe Bottini & Bottini can put its money where its mouth is and give a few million to a black VC company to get the ball rolling if they're really serious about getting Black people in Silicon Valley. Or better still, they can work toward freeing our public schools which has made the quality of education so abysmal for Black people.
But that's probably not what this is about.
Here are some opening theories about what it might be about.
Politics? You bet. In the Qualcomm case (and this La Jolla law firm is closest of all to the doings of San Diego-based Qualcomm so color me suspicious), there's a congressional race on for the 54th district, with two far-left Democrats on the ballot, Sara Jacobs, and Georgette Gomez. Jacobs is an heiress to the Qualcomm fortune, and Gomez is an Black Lives Matter supporter. Both candidates are awful, but Gomez is probably more awful, she represents the crazy-left, the Sanders on amphetimines branch, plus the really extreme unions. Idle-rich Jacobs, 30, represents the Obama-Clinton left. Might this be a bid to paint Qualcomm as racist (it clearly isn't, based on this San Diego Union-Tribune story) in order to pin something on Jacobs and whip up the crazy left. I haven't found any smoking guns yet, but rest assured, I'm looking.
Or how about politic in a more lateral sense. Qualcomm is the only major tech firm with a significant conservative presence -- 50% leftist- 50% Republican. CNBC has this list of left-right political donation breakdown among tech giants. Qualcomm has that 50-50 breakdown, likely because it's not in that Silicon Valley nest of leftism, but there's also Oracle, which has some hugely leftist people living as heirs off the original pile made, but has a Trump-supporting CEO, Larry Ellison, and a not-insignificant 33% conservative donor presence. Think these lefty lawyers might just want to shake them down and paint them as racist? Facebook, meanwhile, is ignoring a wokester-corporate boycott in the name of not censoring free speech, which makes it a target, too, for seeding these boards with people who may not know the industry.
In any case, the last part of Bottini & Bottini's claimed reason for its lawsuits is most disingenuous -- which seek to increase economic opportunities and representation for African Americans and other minorities at publicly-traded corporations. These board seats won't increase economic opportunity for any Black people as a group. They won't level the playing field, they won't change the venture capital system, they certainly won't free Black children from execrable public education. What they will do is reward an already existing Black elite - the Valerie Jarretts, Michelle Obamas, and Eric Holders -- who know nothing about what it takes to make a company succeed and everything about how to wreck it. Wokeness over merit is no way to stay competitive.
These lawsuits are clearly a shakedown on corporate America from a bunch of rank hypocrites taking orders and cash from ... someone.
Image credit: Logo via Wikimedia Commons, fair use