Satya Nadella

Summary List Placement

On Monday, Microsoft announced that it would suspend all contributions from its political action committee, MSPAC, in the wake of last week’s riot at the US Capitol. The freeze, which applies to Democrats and Republicans alike, will be in effect “until after it assesses the implications of last week’s events,” the company said.

Leaked discussions from Microsoft’s internal Yammer social network show that the announcement came after days of employee unrest over MSPAC itself. Funded in part by Microsoft employees, MSPAC has proven a frequent source of controversy within the company.

In recent days, many employees criticized the PAC for making donations in Microsoft’s name to the Republicans in both houses of Congress who voted against certifying election results, in messages from several discussions viewed by Insider. Those Republicans have been criticized as lending credence to President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud, which in turn inspired the mob that rampaged through the Capitol.

On Friday, amid those discussions, Microsoft corporate VP of US government affairs Fred Humphries told employees in the group that MSPAC already planned to pause donations in accordance with its standard practices after an election, and would use the time to seek employee feedback.

In several threads on the “CEO Connection” board, Microsoft employees said backing these politicians was at odds with the company’s own public stance and values. Microsoft describes the “CEO Connection” board as meant “to allow employees to ask [CEO Satya Nadella] and his leadership team questions and discuss topics that are relevant to the entire company.”

One Microsoft employee published to Twitter an analysis finding that MSPAC had donated thousands of dollars to many of the 138 House Republicans involved in voting against certification of the election result, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a prominent ally of President Trump. 

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“This cannot go on,” one employee wrote on the “CEO Connection” board. “MSPAC donated to a number of the representatives who tried to subvert democracy,” another wrote.

One Microsoft employee asked the company’s senior leadership team to “rectify” the “contradiction” between company president Brad Smith’s public statements before and after the Capitol insurrection and MSPAC donations.

“The statement put forth by Brad about Microsoft’s commitment to our Constitution, honesty, and the rule of law seems to contradict donations made by our…very own MSPAC for candidates whose views run contrary to these principles,” one commenter wrote.

Smith after the siege tweeted, “This is a day to speak up for our Constitution and its values.” In an earlier statement on Jan. 4, Smith said: “At Microsoft we believe a healthy business community depends on our Constitution, the rule of law, and the peaceful transition of power. Our democratic principles must come first. We thank our elected officials & public servants who work tirelessly to protect our democracy.”

This isn’t the first time that MSPAC has come under fire from employees unhappy with the company’s political donation strategy. In July 2019, Microsoft temporarily paused MSPAC donations after a group of employees complained that MSPAC supported …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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