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HPE CEO Antonio Neri: ‘George Floyd Should Not Be Dead’

“I’m sure you’ve felt a lot of emotions like I have- anger, disbelief, sadness, grief, and frustration with the systemic oppression and racism that still exist in our society,” Neri told HPE employees. “George Floyd should not be dead. His life was taken unjustly as have the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many other African Americans.”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri has decried the death of George Floyd and the “systemic oppression and racism that still exist in our society.”

In a message sent to HPE’s 61,600 employees, Neri said the events of the last week have been hard for him to process.

“I’m sure you’ve felt a lot of emotions like I have- anger, disbelief, sadness, grief, and frustration with the systemic oppression and racism that still exist in our society,” he wrote. “George Floyd should not be dead. His life was taken unjustly as have the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many other African Americans.”

[Related: Andy Jassy, Other Tech Leaders Denounce Racism After George Floyd’s Death]

Neri’s comments come in the wake of nationwide protests since the death of Floyd – an African American- on May 25.

Floyd’s death – which has sparked many technology industry CEOs and solution providers to speak out against racism in this country - came after white Police Office Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, according to the criminal complaint for murder and manslaughter against Chauvin.

“As a global company, we have a responsibility to help shape a world that is equal for all people,” said Neri. “Our shared beliefs include a commitment to unconditional inclusion. We need to use this moment to take a stand, to speak up on inclusion, to advocate within and outside HPE for equality – it’s time to lean into our belief to solve humanity with humanity.”

Neri told HPE employees that he is “personally committed” to ensuring the company is “doing everything within our control to ensure equal treatment, equal opportunity and equal inclusion” for all HPE employees.

“It starts with each of us individually making a commitment and taking a stand,” said Neri. “With teammates across all 50 US states and a global footprint, we can make a difference and be a force for good.”

Neri said even as HPE and employees “continue to do what we can to be the change we know the world needs,” it is important for HPE employees to take time for themselves.

“Over the next several days, we will host listening sessions to hear your thoughts, concerns and what’s on your minds,” he said. “In addition, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) stands ready to connect you to resources to help you process what is happening and heal.”

In closing, Neri told employees to “be safe and be well” and thanked them for all they do “for our communities and for each other.”

Solution provider CEOs have also lashed out at the death of Floyd and racism in America including Bob Cagnazzi,CEO of Presidio, No. 22 on the CRN 2020 SP500, and Jim Kavanaugh, CEO of World Wide Technology (WWT), No. 9 on the CRN 2020 SP500.

“Everyone should have the right to breathe freely,” said Cagnazzi in a Twitter post. “Everyone should have the right to freely breathe with the same privileges others enjoy. Racism in any form should not be tolerated.”

Kavanaugh, meanwhile, tweeted: “Racism has no place in our world! We stand with our Black employees, friends, families, customers, partners and communities…this senseless violence must end! #blacklivesmatter.”

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