Company Examples for Chapter 2: Intercultural and Team Communication

Google Memo Divides People on Diversity Issues (August 2017)

Also a good example of persuasive writing, the memo written by a Google software engineer illustrates controversy about diversity programs. The author argues that more women aren't in technology positions partly because of biological differences. He was fired, which conservatives say exemplifies Google's "cult-like" culture on the issue.

Ryan Getzlaf Calls Ref a Bad Name  (May 2017) Temp

Hockey player Ryan Getzlaf apologized for muttering a offensive remark. He apologized in writing and in a video statement. How did he do?


Pepsi Commercial Starring Kendall Jenner Is Criticized (April 2017) Temp

Pepsi and Jenner took a lot of heat for a commercial that seems to minimize racism and mock the Black Lives Matter movement.


Uber Reveals Diversity Stats (March 2017)

Uber reports on its diversity in light of criticism. Charts compare technology companies and make for an interesting discussion.


Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Argues with a Drive (March 2017)

Not his most proud moment (although better than the 2013 "Miami Letter" discovered in 2017 in which he offers sex advice for employees before a company event). Kalanick had an altercation with a driver, which led to his promising to change his management approach.

Hyatt Regency Apologizes for Commenting on a Name (December 2016) Karim Abouelnaga

A former student of mine, Karim Aboulenaga, faced insensitive comments about his name when checking into a Hyatt Regency. He posted the situation on LinkedIn and received an apology note, a fruit-and-cheese platter, and bottled water from the hotel front office manager. This is a good example of turning a situation around, and a class discussion would be interesting: did the recovery undo the damage? His update post on LinkedIn received almost 66,000 likes as of December 20.


USHG CEO Sends Email to Employees After the Election (November 2016)

USHGLike former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, encouraged his employees to listen to each other after the contentious presidential election. His email was published on  He refers to "enlightened hospitality" and gives examples of eye contact, smiling, and so on.

This is a good example of a CEO showing some vulnerability, but this in-class discussion USHGcan be tricky because it's a political topic. Freshmen and sophomores in my class handled it well. 


Student's Blog Post About Racism Gets Attention (October 2016)

Suffolk blog postAnother controversial one: A Suffolk University student was accused of plagiarism, and she wrote a blog post that went viral. According to the student, her professor returned a paper to her in front of the classroom and said, "This is not your language." She then reviewed her comments with her.

This example would contribute to an open discussion about racism and touches topics from Chapter 5 (word choice). The situation includes a response from the university, which is fairly well done, in my opinion.


Toyota Executives Show Cultural Differences in Email (January 2010)

Toyota emailsThis is from 2010, but I still use these emails in classes to illustrate cultural differences (and ethics and problems with email). The messages were made public when Toyota was charged with not disclosing accelerator issues that caused several accidents.






Older Examples

Male PWC employees in Dublin rate female employees via email. Read more about the situation here.

Apple CEO Tim Cook confirms that he's gay in a BloombergBusiness opinion letter, 2014.

Facebook's apology to the LGBT community, 2014.

Examples of racist emails circulated by officials in Ferguson, MO, 2015.