The top exec at Microsoft, the chief operating officer at Cisco and a host of other high-tech execs have added their names to a joint statement from the Human Rights Campaign in protest of the recently passed religious freedom law in Indiana and legislation that is pending in Arkansas.

A bill is also planned in North Carolina. The execs join Apple CEO Tim Cook in saying such laws allow discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The updated list includes Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Cisco’s Gary Moore.

Apple CEO Tim Cook helped ignite the firestorm over the weekend with an op-ed against the law. Cook has acknowledged that he is gay.

The additions include:

Shervin Pishevar, CoFounder, Sherpa Ventures; David Karp, CEO, Tumblr; Reid Hoffman, Chairman, Linkedin; Kevin Ryan, Chairman, Gilt; Michael Birch, CoFounder, Bebo; Hosain Rahman, CEO, Jawbone; John Zimmer, President, Lyft; Bill Ready, CEO, Braintree; Jon Oringer, CEO, Shutterstock Images; Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox; Bijan Sabet, General Partner, Spark Capital.

Others include: Douglas Merrill, CEO, ZestFinance; Tom Sheahan, CEO, RedOxygen; Brian Samelson, CEO,; Jeff Weiner, CEO, LinkedIn; Daniel Lurie, CEO, Tipping Point Community; Aaron Levie, CEO, Box; Jeff Weiner, CEO, Linkedin; Gary Moore, President & COO, Cisco; Travis Katz, CEO, Gogobot; Joe Davis, CEO, Webtrends; Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft; Brad Smith, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Microsoft.

And more: Josh Kopelman, Partner, First Round Capital; Rob Glaser, CEO, Realnetworks; Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel; Jason Goldberg, CEO, Hem; Evan Reece, CEO, Liftopia; Dave Gilboa, CoFounder, Warby Parker; Neil Blumenthal, CoFounder, Warby Parker; Sean Parker, Chairman, Airtime; Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix; and Charles Phillips, CEO, Infor.

The joint statement from the Human Rights Campaign is in protest of the recently passed religious freedom law in Indiana and legislation that is pending in Arkansas. Both bills are being rewritten.

A bill is also planned in North Carolina.

The execs join Cook in saying such laws allow discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The joint statement was issued Wednesday,

Signing for Cisco is Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer.

Cook proclaimed his opposition on Sunday in The Washington Post, helping ignite a firestorm of criticism for such legislation.

Several companies, including EMC which has a major RTP presence, are acting by either not doing some business in Indiana or pulling back on investment plans.

Notes The Associated Press:

“A number of companies – including Salesforce, EMC and Cloudera – have withdrawn their sponsorships for Indy Big Data, a tech conference scheduled in May. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff says he has also canceled all company travel to Indiana and pledged to ‘dramatically reduce’ investment in the state. Salesforce bought Indianapolis-based ExactTarget in 2013 for $2.5 billion.

“Consumer reporting agency Angie’s List canceled a planned $40 million expansion of its Indianapolis headquarters, which was expected to bring 1,000 jobs to the city by 2019. CEO Bill Oesterle worked as a campaign aide to former Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican.

The head of the Human Rights Campaign, said lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) face discrimination because of such laws. Defenders have denied that is the case.

“This unprecedented and historic effort by the giants of the tech industry should be a clarion call to policymakers that discriminating against LGBT people is not acceptable in today’s marketplace of ideas,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement. “These leaders have made it clear: if states want high tech jobs, they must put fully inclusive nondiscrimination protections in place immediately.”

Here’s the statement in full with executives supporting it listed below:

Joint Statement from Tech Industry Leaders

The values of diversity, fairness and equality are central to our industry. These values fuel creativity and inspiration, and those in turn make the U.S. technology sector the most admired in the world today.

We believe it is critically important to speak out about proposed bills and existing laws that would put the rights of minorities at risk. The transparent and open economy of the future depends on it, and the values of this great nation are at stake.

Religious freedom, inclusion, and diversity can co-exist and everyone including LGBT people and people of faith should be protected under their states’ civil rights laws. No person should have to fear losing their job or be denied service or housing because of who they are or whom they love.

However, right now those values are being called into question in states across the country. In more than twenty states, legislatures are considering legislation that could empower individuals or businesses to discriminate against LGBT people by denying them service if it they felt it violated their religious beliefs.

To ensure no one faces discrimination and ensure everyone preserves their right to live out their faith, we call on all legislatures to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes to their civil rights laws and to explicitly forbid discrimination or denial of services to anyone.

Anything less will only serve to place barriers between people, create hurdles to creativity and inclusion, and smother the kind of open and transparent society that is necessary to create the jobs of the future. Discrimination is bad for business and that’s why we’ve taken the time to join this joint statement.


  • Max Levchin, CEO, Affirm
  • Mark Pincus, Chairman, Zynga
  • Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp
  • Marc Benioff, CEO, SalesForce
  • Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square
  • Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter
  • Joe Green, CEO, Lyft
  • Brian Chesky, CEO, AirBnB
  • Joe Gebbia, CPO, AirBnB
  • Nathan Blecharczyk, CTO, AirBnB
  • Ron Conway, CEO, Axon JuriMed Group LLC
  • John Donahoe, CEO, Ebay
  • Paul Graham, CoFounder, YCombinator
  • Rich Barton, Chairman, Zillow Group
  • Chad Hurley, CEO, Mixbit
  • Adora Cheung, CEO, Homejoy
  • Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote
  • Trevor Traina, CEO, IfOnly
  • Nirav Tolia, CEO, NextDoor
  • Dion Lim, CEO, NextLesson
  • Bret Taylor, CEO, Quip
  • Joe Lonsdale, CEO, Formation 8
  • Thomas Layton, Chairman, Elance-odesk
  • Fabio Rosati, CEO, Elance-odesk
  • Dave Morin, CEO, Path
  • Mark Goldstein, Chairman, BackOps
  • Kevin Rose, CEO, North Technologies
  • Yves Behar, CCO, Jawbone
  • Padmasree Warrior, CTSO, Cisco Systems
  • Tony Conrad, CEO,
  • Sunil Paul, CEO, Sidecar
  • Michael Moritz, Chairman, Sequoia Capital
  • Dan Schulman, President, PayPal
  • Devin Wenig, President, eBay Marketplaces
  • Robert Hohman, CEO, Glassdoor
  • Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and Chair, Emerson Collective
  • Mohan Warrior, CEO, Alphalight
  • David Spector, CIO, Penny Mac
  • Shervin Pishevar, CoFounder, Sherpa Ventures