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Oct 29, 2019

Microsoft CEO stands behind software sales to Pentagon

A Salesforce.Com Inc., left, and a Microsoft Corp. logo, center, hang beside an illuminated iCloud icon at the CeBIT 2017 tech fair in Hannover, Germany, on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Leading edge technologies in the digital world are showcased in this annual event which runs March 20 - 24.

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Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella told employees his leadership team is fully behind the sale of software to the U.S. Defense Department, after the company won a US$10 billion Pentagon contract that some workers have opposed.

Addressing staff at a regular internal town-hall meeting, Nadella said he respects differing opinions on the issue, according to a person familiar with the discussion. Still, he said the company’s senior leadership team agrees that Microsoft should offer the best technology to institutions that protect U.S. freedom and democracy.

Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw declined to confirm specifics of Nadella’s comments, which opened the meeting, except to note that he addressed a list of topics including recent earnings and the cloud-computing contract win. The monthly meeting is attended in person by some Microsoft employees at headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and is webcast companywide.