John Matze, CEO of beleaguered Twitter competitor Parler, has been fired by the board of directors amid a highly contentious period for the conservative-friendly platform.(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
"On January 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," wrote Matze in a statement obtained by Fox Business. "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 wrote that over the past few months he has been met with "constant resistance" to his original vision for the social media platform following Amazon Web Services' decision to shut Parler down for failure to moderate "egregious content" related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. -Fox Business
"Over the past few months, I’ve met constant resistance to my product vision, my strong belief in free speech and my view of how the Parler site should be managed. For example, I advocated for more product stability and what I believe is a more effective approach to content moderation," Matze's statement continues.
"I have worked endless hours and fought constant battles to get the Parler site running but at this point, the future of Parler is no longer in my hands," he continued. "I want to thank the Parler employees, the people on Parler and Parler supporters for their tireless work and devotion to the company. They are an amazing group of diverse, hardworking and talented individuals and I have the utmost respect for them. Many of them have become my second family."
After several Parler users were found to have been participants in the Jan. 6 'Capitol riot,' the company was swept up in a cancel campaign - with Amazon Web Services and several other third-party service providers critical to the service dropped them as a client. Parler subsequently went offline, only to pop back up last week with several posts from Matze - calling for a "respectful conversation to improve our society" and detailing the company's legal struggles in the wake of the Amazon decision.
Parler was also dropped from both Google and Apple's app stores, and has yet to relaunch services.
According to Fox, Matze says he'll spend a few weeks off before searching for a new venture.
"After that, I’ll be looking for new opportunities where my technical acumen, vision and the causes I am passionate about will be required and respected," he wrote, adding "I want to thank all the people of Parler that supported me and the platform. This has been the true American Dream: an idea from a living room to a company of considerable value. I’m not saying goodbye, just so long for now."