Google Won’t Seek to Renew Pentagon Contract After Internal Backlash

by andthenisawtheblood

Really curious to hear some of your thoughts on this, as I’ve seen “ethical investing” come up from time to time. Here’s a couple articles on the subject:

Google Won’t Seek to Renew Pentagon Contract After Internal Backlash (Short WSJ article)

How a Pentagon Contract Became an Identity Crisis for Google (Long NYT article)

I think this is beyond the usual cigarette/gun/prison stocks. I had read an article in Barron’s awhile ago arguing that pension funds, etc. who are divesting from gun stocks as a response to shootings are wrong because their primary responsibility is to fund pensions/etc., not take a moral stand for a certain percentage of their investors, at a loss of potential gains.

I’m reading that the letter was signed by about 4000 employees, which would be 4.7% of their employees. Should 4.7% of a company’s employees, who may or may not be varying degrees of shareholders, impact potential lucrative business decisions? From the WSJ article:

Just as some employees have protested Google’s work with the government, others expressed concern that the opinions of low-level employees shouldn’t have a bearing on the company’s business contracts.

Do you think the support or opposition to (potentially lethal) government contracts would impact recruiting/retention? Obviously the west coast is a lot different than the east coast, where defense contractors make a more positive impact on the local economy.

Here is the full text of the letter which was released back in April.

 

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