MicroStrategy CEO draws fire for denying COVID-19 is health crisis
Michael Saylor reportedly redacted a leaked memo in which he refused to close his offices unless legally required.
Michael Saylor, the CEO of Tysons-based tech company MicroStrategy Inc., wrote a later-redacted three-page memo to his 2,400 employees this week arguing that COVID-19 is not a public health crisis and saying he refused to close down MicroStrategy’s offices and shift to teleworking unless he was legally required to do so. In the letter, he encouraged his employees to “run toward the crisis, not away from it.”
Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Saylor redacted the letter on Thursday and is now encouraging employees to telework.
“I expect we will keep our offices open everywhere in the world unless legally directed to close them by local authorities. If we wish to maintain our productivity, we need to continue working in these offices,” Saylor wrote in the memo to employees, which was leaked to Reddit. “We have prepared our employees to be able to work from anywhere, but unless you are feeling ill, suffering from anxiety, or have a family emergency, I would prefer that you come to the office to work. Regardless of what cards we get dealt by local governments, customers, or circumstances, we must strive to maximize productivity in any way we can so that we come out of this crisis strong enough to serve our customers, employees, partners, investors, and community at large.”
He added that “policies like social distancing, curfews, quarantines, and travel restrictions are wreaking havoc in our society and are iatrogenic (“the cure is worse than the disease”).”
Reddit forum participants have used the space to reflect on how their bosses have handled the COVID-19 crisis.
“My boss is [far] from perfect,” wrote one user, “…but at least he understands why I don’t want my senior grandmother and parents, and my asthmatic brother to get it.”
In addition to redacting the letter, saying it was “off the mark,” Saylor has reportedly offered MicroStrategy employees two additional paid personal days to be used at the employees’ discretion, according to an anonymous Reddit poster who identified themselves as a MicroStrategy employee.