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The Top 10 News Stories Of 2020 (So Far)

Rick Whiting

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a steep economic downturn, the IT industry’s response to the social justice movement, an abandoned corporate takeover attempt, a possible spin-off, new technologies and old technology rivalries. It has been a very tumultuous 2020 – so far.

2. IT Industry Leaders Decry Racism And Inequality, Donate To Social Justice Causes

CEOs of some of the nation’s biggest IT vendors and solution providers spoke out against racism and social injustice in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Black American who died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The incident led to large-scale protests around the country and calls for racial justice and police reforms.

Cisco Systems, which postponed its Cisco Live event the first week of June amid the outcry over Floyd’s death, pledged to donate $5 million to several organizations focused on social justice causes including the Equal Justice Initiative, the Legal Defense Fund and Black Lives Matter.

“It’s far overdue for all of us to take action to eradicate systemic racism, xenophobia, inequality & all forms of bigotry in America. How we respond will be an important moment in our nation’s history,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said in a tweet.

Intel pledged to donate $1 million to anti-racism and social justice groups. “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,” CEO Bob Swan said in a memo to employees that was published on the company’s website.

“Everyone should have the right to breathe freely,” said Presidio CEO Bob 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.” In an interview with CRN, Cagnazzi said the channel powerhouse is committed to taking substantive actions to help stem the tide of systemic racism.

“George Floyd should not be dead,” said Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri in a message sent to HPE’s 61,600 employees in which he decried the “systemic oppression and racism that still exist in our society.”

“The murder of George Floyd is an atrocity,” wrote Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell in a letter to all Dell employees. “I‘ve always believed diversity is power. It’s how we win and win the right way. We can lead by example into our inclusive culture. We can lead by example and surround each other in love and support when we need it most.“

Adding their voices to the calls for change were IBM CEO Arvind Krishna (“We are committed to fighting discrimination in all forms”), Nutanix CEO Dheeraj Pandey (“We see you and we support you”), NetApp CEO George Kurian, AWS CEO Andy Jassy, Pure Storage CEO Charles Giancarlo, and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

 
Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN.

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