Read Satya Nadella’s letter to Microsoft staff after the events in Charlottesville

Words matter.
Words matter.
Image: Reuters/Carlos Barria
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Yesterday (Aug. 14), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent out the following email to employees at Microsoft after the deadly car crash at a white nationalist rally in in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, Aug. 12:

This past week and in particular this weekend’s events in Charlottesville have been horrific. What I’ve seen and read has had a profound impact on me and I am sure for many of you as well. In these times, to me only two things really matter as a leader.

The first is that we stand for our timeless values, which include diversity and inclusion. There is no place in our society for the bias, bigotry and senseless violence we witnessed this weekend in Virginia provoked by white nationalists. Our hearts go out to the families and everyone impacted by the Charlottesville tragedy.

The second is that we empathize with the hurt happening around us. At Microsoft, we strive to seek out differences, celebrate them and invite them in. As a leader, a key part of your role is creating a culture where every person can do their best work, which requires more than tolerance for diverse perspectives. Our growth mindset culture requires us to truly understand and share the feelings of another person. It is an especially important time to continue to be connected with people, and listen and learn from each other’s experiences.

As I’ve said, across Microsoft, we will stand together with those who are standing for positive change in the communities where we live, work and serve. Together, we must embrace our shared humanity, and aspire to create a society that is filled with respect, empathy and opportunity for all.

Feel free to share with your teams.


In the letter, shared with Quartz by an employee at Microsoft, Nadella seems to call out Donald Trump’s hesitance to denounce the white supremacist groups that were involved in the weekend’s events (Trump eventually did so). He also seems to reference the fallout that has surrounded another technology company, Google, after it fired an employee who posted a treatise on his thoughts about the differences between men and women in technology jobs. Nadella’s note preaches inclusion and tolerance in the Redmond, Washington, company, on a day when three CEOs from major US companies announced they would be departing Trump’s manufacturing council as a reaction to this weekend’s events.

Microsoft wasn’t immediately available to comment on Nadella’s note.