Microsoft says it will push for diversity and security from the Trump administration – TechCrunch
Although Donald Trump’s presidential campaign never netted much support from tech companies, at least one company is now congratulating him on his election victory.
“Every president-elect deserves our congratulations, best wishes and support for the country as a whole. The peaceful transition of power has been an enduring and vital part of our democracy for over two centuries, and it remains so today,” Microsoft chief legal officer Brad Smith wrote in a blog post.
Smith said that Trump’s victory was driven by economic disparity, noting that job growth has not grown evenly for those who have college degrees and those who do not. Trump’s supporters felt “left out and left behind,” he added, noting that Microsoft will work to create new jobs to address the gap.
However, Smith’s post also offers a quiet repudiation of Trump’s anti-immigration and anti-encryption stances.
“As we think societally about these new opportunities to address those who have been left behind, it’s critically important that we appreciate the continuing national strengths that serve the country so well,” Smith wrote, noting that diversity has a place in strengthening the economy and encouraging job growth. “We’re committed to promoting not just diversity among all the men and women who work here, but the type of inclusive culture that will enable people to do their best work and pursue rewarding careers.”
His comments on diversity were echoed at eBay, where CEO Devin Wenig issued a memo to employees reminding them of founder Pierre Omidyar’s immigrant background. “As I travel to our offices around the world, I have the privilege to interact with people of countless nationalities and backgrounds. This diversity is one of the most valuable assets we have as we drive our business forward,” Wenig wrote.
Smith also subtly went to bat for consumer privacy and access to encryption (Trump has called for tech companies, most notably Apple, to provide backdoor access to the government).
“People will not use technology they do not trust. We’re committed to developing technology that is secure and trusted, both for Americans and for people around the world,” he wrote, referencing Microsoft’s recent legal victories against the Justice Department on these issues. “As we’ve won the cases we’ve brought, we’ve been reminded of one of this country’s greatest strengths, its strong Constitution, independent judiciary, and the overarching rule of law.”