Scoble posts Ballmer’s memo.
That Microsoft has a legislative agenda scares me. That this bill wasn’t on it, and, as such, was then disowned by the company makes the scenario worse.
Steve Ballmer: You control the world’s wealthiest corporation. You say you are hardcore for diversity. Then you say:
It’s appropriate to invoke the company’s name on issues of public policy that directly affect our business and our shareholders, but it’s much less clear when it’s appropriate to invoke the company’s name on broader issues that go far beyond the software industry — and on which our employees and shareholders hold widely divergent opinions. We are a public corporation with a duty first and foremost to a broad group of shareholders. On some issues, it is more appropriate for employees or shareholders to get involved as individual citizens. As CEO, I feel a real sense of responsibility around this question, and I believe there are important distinctions between my personal views on policy issues and when it’s appropriate to involve the company.
You know how many of your most talented current, former and possibly future employees will see this situation. It is a black eye for Microsoft. It shows all of us, those of us who live in the US but are not citizens, as well as the 48% of the population who do not agree with the current leadership, that your compant lacks the moral fiber to take a stand.
I am ashamed to use Microsoft products, because now they aren’t about the people who use them; they are about the company’s shareholders.
Microsoft: Your money. Our profits. Our shareholder’s dividends.