If there’s ever been a giant list of things you definitely shouldn’t do in a civilized society, threatening to murder the democratically elected leader with a sniper rifle is probably right up there at the top. Apparently nobody told Matt Harrigan, CEO — well, former CEO, anyway — of network security firm PacketSled.
In an ill-advised fit of blind rage, Harrigan took to Facebook to voice his stance on the future Trump presidency, but rather than providing reasoned, sane arguments to support his feelings, Harrigan simply vowed to murder Trump instead.
Harrigan’s violent rhetoric was quickly preserved with screenshots and rapidly gained attention on Reddit, where it was brought to the attention of PacketSled. Harrigan, as you might expect, performed one of the quickest reversals in the history of mankind, claiming that it was all a joke and a misunderstanding:
My recent Facebook comment was intended to be a joke, in the context of a larger conversation, and only privately shared as such. Anyone who knows me, knows that I do not engage in this form of rhetoric with any level of seriousness and the comment most certainly does not represent my real personal views in any regard. I apologize if anything that I said was either taken seriously, was offensive, or caused any legitimate concern.
Best Regards, Matt Harrigan
But threatening to kill the president isn’t exactly easy to undo, and his company wasted no time in distancing itself from him. On Monday, PacketSled noted that it is fully cooperating with the Secret Service, should a more in-depth investigation take root:
PacketSled takes recent comments made by our CEO, seriously. Once we were made aware of these comments, we immediately reported this information to the secret service and will cooperate fully with any inquiries. These comments do not reflect the views or opinions of PacketSled, its employees, investors or partners. Our CEO has been placed on administrative leave.
Today, PacketSled issued another statement, this time announcing the resignation and departure of Harrigan:
The PacketSled Board of Directors accepted the resignation of President and CEO Matthew Harrigan, effective immediately. Fred Wilmot, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, will serve as interim CEO while the Board of Directors conducts a search for a permanent replacement. We want to be very clear, PacketSled does not condone the comments made by Mr. Harrigan, which do not reflect the views or opinions of the company, its employees, investors or partners.
Well, that’s one way to land in the unemployment line.
Headline updated to clarify that Harrigan ended up resigning and was not fired.