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Internal email reveals Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s thoughts on Charlottesville protests

In the wake of the recent violence in Chartlottesville over this past weekend here in the United States, Quartz has obtained an internal email which Satya Nadella sent to employees at Microsoft. The email details the CEO’s thoughts on the white nationalist protests, the need for diversity, inclusion, and more.

In the email, the Microsoft CEO calls the events in Chartlottesville “horrific,” saying it has left a “profound impact” on him. Nadella also calls for diversity and inclusion, mentioning two things that matter to him as a leader. The first of which is standing up for Microsoft’s “timeless values.”

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.

In the second half of the email, Nadella empathizes with the hurt, highlighting the need to “embrace our shared humanity.” Again, he also points to his role as a leader, and creating a culture which allows employees to listen and learn from each other.

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.

A Microsoft employee shared the email with Quartz, but the company did not provide a comment about the email. Other tech giants have also taken actions against those who encourage hate, white supremacy and neo-nazism. GoDaddy recently shut down a website which published white nationalist material.

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What other comments did you expect Satya Nadella to make?