A Boston company has apologized for inviting a speaker to a local event after audience members found his remarks about his wife to be sexist and offensive.
David Cancel, the CEO of the software company Drift Inc., said they did not properly vet the guest before booking him to attend their marketing and sales event in Boston's Seaport District last week.
"I failed in choosing the speakers I allowed into our community. I apologize to those of you who joined us, to our team, and to the larger community for my failure," wrote Cancel in a self published post on the site Medium.
U.S. & World
The speaker in question was entrepreneur Grant Cardone, who was invited to attend Drift's annual event, Hypergrowth.
During his talk on marketing and sales success, Cardone turned the attention from his work to his wife, Elena Cardone, in the audience.
"He started talking about how he pursued his wife. He said, 'That's probably going to get me sex tonight,'" explained Allison Grinberg-Funes, who attended the event.
Cardone did not stop there, according to those present.
"Then he's like, 'Have you ever had sex five miles above the ground in an airplane? It's amazing.' Like, he said that out loud to a conference full of thousands of people that paid to be there," said attendee Juliana Casale.
The reaction on social media was swift, with many taking to Twitter to call the comments "chauvinistic" and a "major setback."
"Let me clearly say, that the comments made by Grant Cardone about Elena Cardone who was in the audience were disgusting, reprehensible, a violation of our values at Drift and my own personal values," wrote Cancel.
In response to Cardone's comments, Grinberg-Funes penned a post in hopes of inspiring a dialogue about changes that still need to be made to address sexism in the in the tech marketing and sales industry.
"Maybe it works for them," she said of the Cardones. "But I know a lot of really respectable sales people that are able to get their message across and maintain and retain their customer base without going there."