‘Racist, hurtful and deeply inappropriate.’ California CEO resigns after racist rant

Don Sweeney, Maddie Capron
·2 min read

A Silicon Valley tech CEO has resigned over a viral video of his ejection from a California restaurant for his racist tirade directed at an Asian family celebrating a birthday.

“I have once again begun my journey back to sobriety and have enrolled in an anti-racist program with immediate effect,” said former Solid8 CEO Michael Lofthouse in a statement Saturday, reported The San Francisco Chronicle.

“My comments towards the families involved were racist, hurtful and deeply inappropriate,” Lofthouse said, according to the publication. “The reactions to what was said have been deserved.”

A viral video posted to Instagram showed the confrontation between Lofthouse and an Asian American family at Lucia in the Carmel Valley, McClatchy News previously reported.

The video shows Lofthouse giving the family the middle finger and saying, “Trump’s gonna f--- you. You f------ need to leave. You f------ Asian piece of s----.”

“We were celebrating my tita’s birthday, literally just singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her and taking pictures, when this white supremacist starts yelling disgusting racist remarks at us,” wrote Jordan Chan on Instagram.

In the video, a server — later identified as Gennica Cochran — orders Lofthouse to leave, yelling at him to “get out” over his racist comments, McClatchy News also reported.

“I felt very protective of them,” Cochran said, reported KGO. “You don’t come in here and say those kinds of things to people.”

“To hear the emotion coming out of my voice, to see my mannerisms, it was unbelievable it was just something that came over me and I just did what needed to be done,” Cochran said about the video, according to the station.

A GoFundMe account created to reward Cochran for her actions had raised more than $76,000 by Sunday morning. Lucia also released a statement praising Cochran.

Lofthouse said Saturday that he stepped down as CEO of Solid8, a Los Gatos cloud-computing firm, and severed all business ties with the company to prevent his actions from further harming the people closest to him, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

He apologized to the Chan family and restaurant, and said a previous apology, which the family had rejected, was insufficient, according to the publication.