Bob Swan Memo: The Sidelines are Not an Option; Intel Pledges $1M

Intel CEO Bob Swan sends a memo to company employees in response to the senseless acts of racism and violence in the United States.



I’m writing to you to address recent events that have occurred here in the United States that are weighing heavily on so many of us over the past several days, weeks and months.

The senseless acts of racism and violence that recently took the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and threatened Christian Cooper are abhorrent and wrong. We stand with Ahmaud, Breonna, George, Christian, their families, their friends and their communities, and we call for an end to acts of racism, inequity and social injustice.

Black lives matter. Period. While racism can look very different around the world, one thing that does not look different is that racism of any kind will not be tolerated here at Intel or in our communities.

To our black employees and communities inside and outside Intel, I hear you and see you. You are hurting deeply. You are angry. You are tired. Barb Whye wrote about the pain many of you are feeling in a poignant note to her team titled “Where is the human in humanity?” When any part of our One Intel team is hurting, we all hurt. We stand with you and support you. Standing on the sidelines is not an option. My commitment to you is to open my mind and my heart to listen and act. I ask all of us to do this, together.

We can start by living more deeply into our values. Inclusion is one of the six values that shapes who we are and the culture we are creating at Intel. We strive to build a culture of belonging. We create a space where everyone can contribute to their fullest potential and deliver their best work. We welcome differences, knowing it makes us better. I challenge every one of us to ask ourselves the hard questions. Am I building an inclusive team? Am I making it possible for everyone to show up at work as their whole selves? Am I role-modeling humanity? What more can I do —  especially right now?

Have empathy and compassion for one another and seek to understand. Inform your thinking with diverse points of view. For all the managers at Intel, let’s check in on our teams and have open conversations about what’s happening because we know what happens outside of work impacts the work we do inside.

More broadly, though, we have a greater responsibility to drive change in the world. That is why our 2030 corporate responsibility strategy and goals include a deep focus on diversity and inclusion, including working with other companies to accelerate adoption of inclusive business practices across industries by creating and implementing a global inclusion index open standard. At a time when some companies are disinvesting in diversity and inclusion, we are investing more because it matters.

It’s also why today Intel is pledging $1 million in support of efforts to address social injustice and anti-racism across various nonprofits and community organizations. I also encourage employees to consider donating to organizations focused on equity and social justice, including the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the Center for Policing Equity and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, all of which are eligible for Intel’s Donation Matching Program.

It’s with a heavy heart that I write this note because I’ve heard from many of you who are feeling deep pain and sadness right now. I know I speak for the leadership team, our board of directors and our employees around the globe when I say: We are here for you. Together we will get through this. Together we will change the world and enrich the lives of EVERY person on Earth.

— Bob