Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has joined Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai in condemning the death of African-American George Floyd, saying our identity, our very existence is rooted in empowering everyone on the planet.
In a note to Microsoft employees, Nadella said that every-day racism, bias and hatred in the news today is not new. "It's far too often the experience and reality in daily lives, particularly for the Black and African American community," he said.
"I know it's not enough to just have empathy for those impacted, for the communities who are experiencing this hate, firsthand, who are scared for their safety, and for their loved ones," Nadella added. He said that in this moment, people can start by checking in with each other, ask colleagues how they're doing and what they need, have empathy for what others are feeling.
"It's incumbent upon us to use our platforms, our resources, to drive that systemic change, right? That's the real challenge here. It's not just any one incident, but it's all the things that have led to the incident that absolutely need to change". Demonstrations and riots have spread to cities across the US after a video went viral of Floyd being suffocated to death by a white police officer in the Minneapolis on May 25.
Microsoft last year launched the Criminal Justice Reform Initiative. This initiative invests in partnerships and programmes working to drive reforms, focusing on policing. "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," said Nadella.