The founder and CEO of a cloud computing consultancy is in hot water after delivering a racist rant at a swanky restaurant in California that was captured on video.
Michael Lofthouse, who runs San Francisco-based cloud transformation firm Solid8, was filmed making slurs against an Asian family at a neighboring table. The video, in which Lofthouse flipped off the family celebrating a birthday on the Fourth of July, quickly went viral.
Before an employee of the restaurant at Carmel Valley’s Bernardus Lodge Hotel kicked Lofthouse out, he raged: “Trump’s gonna f- you. You f— Asian piece of s—.”
This happened to my friend Jordan last night in Monterey, CA while celebrating her aunt’s birthday. All they were doing was singing happy birthday when this man started yelling disgusting racist remarks. These racists exist and they’re getting comfortable. Please vote! pic.twitter.com/T8RtSKDM3J
— john (@JohnRizkallah) July 5, 2020
Solid8, founded in 2017, bills itself as “Silicon Valley Cloud Transformation Experts” that implement UCaaS, CCaaS, SDWAN, Security, Colocation Datacenter Services, Managed Hosting, and DRaaS, but doesn’t identify on its website any vendor partners.
Solid8 did not immediately respond to a CRN request for comment.
On a LinkedIn page that has since been taken down, Lofthouse said he worked for Hewlett-Packard and IBM back in his homeland of England. Then, after moving to the United States in 2010, he held sales positions for Appdynamics, Inkling and BMC Software, before founding his consultancy.
After condemnation of his behavior in Carmel on social media, Lofthouse issued a statement, according to Los Angeles-based TV station KABC: “My behavior in the video is appalling. This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments. I would like to deeply apologize to the Chan family. I can only imagine the stress and pain they feel. I was taught to respect people of all races, and I will take the time to reflect on my actions and work to better understand the inequality that so many of those around me face every day.”
The video got the attention of celebrities, including comedian Patton Oswalt and singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson, who both re-posted the video on Twitter. “We all bleed red!” Clarkson said. “Keep calling hate out! It’s unacceptable, ignorant, and disgusting! Change won’t happen if we’re sittin’ down so keep standing!”
Another company in England, also called Solid8, asked that people don’t get it confused with Lofthouse’s firm.
“It appears that my company, Solid8 Consulting Ltd, is being incorrectly attacked for racism and hatred,” the company said on its website. “We are currently receiving huge amounts of emails, calls and messages from people accusing us of having a CEO that is racist. This is a case of mistaken identity and we are in no way associated with the business in question. We don’t actually have a CEO, I run and own the company along with my Fiance, Josh.”