IBM CEO hosting racism discussion with employees

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IBM CEO Arvind Krishna is hosting a discussion on racism with employees Monday evening in response to the ongoing protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

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"All over the US, we have seen a number of deeply painful and heartbreaking events. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and, more recently, George Floyd, amongst many others," Krishna said in a message to employees shared on his LinkedIn account. "Like you, I'm pained and appalled by their deaths. These events are tragic. They have shaken us to our core…and although they happened in the US, they have caught the world's attention."

SVP and Director at IBM Research Arvind Krishna speaks on stage during the 2016 Wired Business Conference on June 16, 2016, in New York City. (Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired)

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He said IBM will "not condone racism of any kind" and is "committed to fighting discrimination in all its forms and wherever it exists."

"We cannot lose sight of the fact that racism is tearing our communities apart. One lesson we should all learn is that silent carriers help spread racism," Krishna added. "This is why it falls on all of us to do away with the legacy of bias, prejudice and racism that has led to these unspeakable events. The tragedies that have occurred should strengthen our determination to do more."

Krishna noted that the conversations about racism will be an "ongoing dialogue."

"For our black IBMers, we understand how particularly difficult these times are for you," Krishna said. "Please know that IBM is a safe place to work, and we are here to support you. There are no easy answers, but we must be willing to have these important, albeit difficult, conversations."

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He also encouraged IBM employees to help foster an inclusive environment and reach out for support if needed.

"I ask all IBMers to join me in creating an even more inclusive culture at IBM. I encourage you to reach out to your IBM leaders if you need any support," he said. "Thank you for all you are doing — for each other, and for your help in building a better company and better society."

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
IBM INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP. 124.89 -0.01 -0.01%
SBUX STARBUCKS CORPORATION 78.32 +0.33 +0.42%
JPM JP MORGAN CHASE & CO. 98.60 +1.29 +1.33%
T AT&T INC. 30.93 +0.07 +0.23%

IBM joins the growing list of companies addressing racial injustice with their employees, including Starbucks, JPMorgan Chase and AT&T.

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