Google CEO Sundar Pichai calls Capitol Hill violence the ‘antithesis of democracy’ in memo to employees

google ceo sundar pichai
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, speaks on artificial intelligence during a Bruegel think tank conference in Brussels, Belgium January 20, 2020.
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai has condemned the events on Capitol Hill Wednesday as "the antithesis of democracy" in a memo to employees.
  • "Holding free and safe elections and resolving our differences peacefully are foundational to the functioning of democracy," wrote Pichai.
  • YouTube said it had removed a video by President Trump addressing the Capitol attack, in which he said the election was "stolen."
  • Are you a current or former Googler with more to share? You can contact this reporter securely using the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-628-228-1836) or encrypted email ([email protected]). Reach out using a nonwork device.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has condemned the violent events on Capitol Hill as "the antithesis of democracy" in a memo to employees.

After supporters of President Donald Trump violently stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, Pichai called the scenes "shocking and scary for us all," according to a copy of the memo seen by Business Insider. A Google spokesperson confirmed the veracity of the email, but provided no further comment.

Rioters, who attended a "March for Trump" rally to protest the certification of Joe Biden's victory in the presidential race, overtook the US Capitol building on Wednesday. Lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters sheltered in offices before being evacuated.

"Holding free and safe elections and resolving our differences peacefully are foundational to the functioning of democracy," wrote Pichai. "The United States has a long and proud history of doing this. The lawlessness and violence occurring on Capitol Hill today is the antithesis of democracy and we strongly condemn it."

The CEO also said that the company was checking in with its D.C. employees and would update employees if any extra precautionary steps were required.

The company has come under criticism for allowing videos filled with misinformation around the election to spread on YouTube. The company said that it had taken down a video by President Trump uploaded Wednesday addressing the Capitol attack, in which he said the election was "stolen."

Here's Pichai's memo in full.

"Hi everyone,

The scenes from Washington D.C. today are shocking and scary for all of us. To start, we are checking in on our D.C. employees to ensure they are safe. We're monitoring the situation and will keep affected employees updated if we take any extra precautionary steps that impact offices or buildings.

Holding free and safe elections and resolving our differences peacefully are foundational to the functioning of democracy. The United States has a long and proud history of doing this. The lawlessness and violence occurring on Capitol Hill today is the antithesis of democracy and we strongly condemn it.

We'll continue to send updates as needed. In the meantime, please prioritize your health and wellbeing by checking in with your support systems -- however you define them -- and leaning on your Google community. If you're looking for extra connection or support, these resources are a good place to start.

Please take good care of yourself and one another.

- Sundar"

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