'Horrific:' Microsoft CEO addresses Charlottesville and the Google diversity memo in an email to employees

Microsoft CEO Satya NadellaGetty Images/Stephen BrashearMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella

In a memo to employees, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressed both the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville and the controversial Google diversity manifesto, calling both “horrific.”

“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,” wrote Nadella, in a Monday email.

The memo was originally obtained by Quartz, and confirmed by a Microsoft spokesperson to Business Insider.

Nadella addresses the events in Charlottesville directly, and expresses his sympathy for victims and their families.

“There is no place in our society for the bias, bigotry and senseless violence we witnessed this weekend in Virginia provoked by white nationalists,” writes Nadella.

However, Nadella is more oblique when referring to the Google diversity memo — a 10-page document written by fired Googler James Damore that called on Google to be more tolerant of conservative viewpoints. Damore’s memo came under fire last week for the suggestion that women might be under-represented in tech generally and “leadership” inside the company because of their biology.

Rather than name Google or Damore directly, Nadella says that it’s insufficient to merely tolerate differing viewpoints, and calls on employees 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,” writes Nadella.

Read the full memo at Quartz here.

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