Satya Nadella addresses employees on Black Lives Matter protests, says “Microsoft will continue to advocate to have voices heard and respected”

Arif Bacchus

Satya Nadella May 2nd MIcrosoft EducuationEvent

On LinkedIn, Kathleen Hogan, the Chief People Officer at Microsoft, shared some of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s remarks to employees on the Black Lives Matter protests, unrest, and the situation ongoing here in the United States.

In the May 28 remarks, Nadella mentioned to employees how believes that while everyday racism is not new, it is “far too often the experience and reality in daily lives, particularly for the Black and African American community.” The SEO also mentioned reading an Op-ed from the New York Times and opened up on how the situation is “not something to just leave behind when you log in to work.”

Although the quoted segments are careful and do not mention it specifically, Nadella hinted at the death of George Floyd while his neck was facing the knees of a white police officer in Minneapolis. On this, Nadella said to employees, “It’s not just any one incident, but it’s all the things that have led to the incident that absolutely need to change.” The CEO also mentioned how it is incumbent to use platforms for change. Segments of these are below.

“Our identity, our very existence is rooted in empowering everyone on the planet. So, therefore, it’s incumbent upon us to use our platforms, our resources, to drive that systemic change, right? That’s the real challenge here. We can’t do it alone. I’m grounded in that, I realize that, but together I think we can, and we will drive change.”

“We need to recognize that we are better, smarter and stronger when we consider the voices, the actions of all communities, and you have my assurance that Microsoft will continue to advocate to have all those voices heard and respected.”

As for how this impacts employees directly, Nadella called for employees to come together. He wants employees to check in with each other, ask how they’re doing, and to have empathy for what other are feeling. These remarks are seen below.

“My ask to each of you is to come together. Ask a colleague how they are doing today. Give each other grace as they’re navigating unseen circumstances. “Have empathy for those who are scared and uncertain, and join me and everyone on the senior leadership team, in advocating for change in our company, in our communities, and in society at large.”

Nadella’s remarks also make it clear that Microsoft is interested in partnerships and programs for the good. He points to the company’s Criminal Justice Reform Initiative, which invests in partnerships that are focused on reforming policing.

Nadella is not alone in his remarks and plenty of other big giant corporate voices have gotten behind the Black Lives Matter movements. Apple SEO Tim Cook sent a letter to employees on Sunday. and Google SEO Sunda Pichai mentioned on Twitter that Google “shares our support for racial equality in solidarity with the Black community.”