Microsoft CEO Defends U.S Military Contract Following Employee Pushback

Posted on February 25, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Microsoft with 37 Comments

Microsoft’s HoloLens made a lot of headlines back in November 2018 when the company won a massive $480 million contract with the U.S. Army to make 100,00 specialized HoloLens devices for the military.

The company has recently faced some backlash from employees over the contract. Last week, a group of 50 Microsoft employees signed a letter addressed to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith, protesting the company’s HoloLens deal with the military. “While the company has previously licensed tech to the US military, it has never crossed the line into weapons development. With this contract, it does,” the letter said.

Microsoft CEO has now defended the company’s contract with the U.S. Army just a day after the tech giant launched the second-generation HoloLens. In an interview with CNN, Nadella claimed that the company was “very transparent about the decision” it made with the contract. “We made a principled decision that we’re not going to withhold technology from institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy,” he said:

“It’s not about taking arbitrary action by a single company, it’s not about 50 people or 100 people or even 100,000 people in a company. It’s really about being a responsible corporate citizen in a democracy,” Nadella later added.

CNN believes more than Microsoft 100 employees have signed the letter so far.

This also isn’t the first time Microsoft is facing backlash over its contracts with a government agency. The company even said last year that it would help employees who are not willing to work on a certain project that could be used by the government by moving them to a different part of the company. And from the looks of things, the company is continuing to remain firm on its position with government contracts.

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