Trump doesn’t make Microsoft’s CEO nervous: “We’ve created … high-paying jobs in the U.S.”
MUNICH, Germany — Some CEOs are nervous at the prospect of a 6 a.m. tweet from President-elect Donald Trump, accusing their company of not doing enough to keep jobs in the U.S.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, however, is confident about Microsoft’s place as a job creator.
“We’re a U.S.-based company that operates worldwide and our predominant employment is in the United States,” Nadella told CNNTech at the DLD tech conference in Munich on Monday. “We’ve already created a tremendous amount of high-paying jobs in the U.S.”
The tech company employs more than 113,000 people worldwide, more than 64,000 of whom are in the United States, mainly in Washington state, according to Microsoft.
In the wake of Trump’s win, companies are eager to play up the number of Americans they employ. Companies like Amazon have made very public announcements about the jobs they expect to add, with messaging that seems to be in direct response to Trump’s win.
But Nadella says Trump’s ascent hasn’t changed the roadmap much for Microsoft.
“If anything, we’ll double down on what we’ve always done, which is be a U.S. company that operates in the United States very responsibly, but also being a multinational company that contributes into every country that we work in.”
Trump has primarily used his Twitter account to go after the automotive and aviation industries. So far, tech has mostly been spared.
“Companies and executives need to have a Twitter strategy” to deal with any tweets from Trump about their firms, T-Mobile CEO John Legere told CNNTech earlier this month at CES.
“[Trump’s singling out specific companies] is probably why a lot of CEOs are keeping their heads down, so I’ll do the same,” Dropbox COO Dennis Woodside told CNNTech at DLD. But he admitted that companies should follow Legere’s advice.
“It’s crazy, but yes. I’m not sure what that strategy would be, [but] I don’t think you want to get into a tweetstorm with Donald Trump,” Woodside advised the crowd.
Changing political winds on the other side of the Atlantic, though, have already caused tech companies like Microsoft to take action.
After the U.K. voted to leave the European Union in June, the value of the pound plummeted, leading Microsoft to hike prices on U.K. business customers by 22% on January 1.
“When there’s some fluctuations, we obviously adjust those prices,” Nadella said. “I hope there will be an equilibrium that will be established and then these price corrections are more one-time vs. continuous.”
Nadella signaled that there is a limit to how much Microsoft can raise prices in the U.K. because the company believes that it is necessary to remain accessible to a mass audience.
“The change from the European Union is something that we’re just beginning to understand, but our commitment in the U.K. is long term and will remain long term,” he said.