George Polisner, a senior executive at Oracle, has officially and PUBLICLY resigned after his boss, co-CEO Safra Catz, joined Donald Trump’s transition team.
Last week at Trump Tower, Donald Trump met with some of the biggest leaders in the tech industry, including executives from Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle. Representing Oracle was George Polisner’s boss, co-CEO Safra Catz. Shortly after the meeting, Catz accepted a position on Trump’s transition team, but her statement before the meeting made her intentions pretty clear. Catz said:
“I plan to tell the president-elect that we are with him and will help in any way we can. If he can reform the tax code, reduce regulation and negotiate better trade deals, the US technology industry will be stronger and more competitive than ever.”
This statement and subsequent actions by Catz prompted Polisner, who is a progressive political activist and has been with Oracle since 1993, to make the decision to resign.
In an open letter to Catz that he posted on LinkedIn, Polisner wrote:
You were recently quoted “I plan to tell the President-elect that we are with him and are here to help in any way we can.” prior to joining the Trump transition team.
Based upon Trump’s own words and validated in his Cabinet selections he will seek to dismantle Social Security and Medicare –important retirement security for our aging and disabled population.
Trump stokes fear, hatred and violence toward people of color, Muslims and immigrants. It is well-known that hate crimes are surging as he has provided license for this ignorance-based expression of malice.
He disrespects Gold Star military families, women and the disabled.
He seeks to eviscerate environmental protections, the public education system, LGBTQ rights and women’s rights.
His tax and economic policies will greatly increase the national debt while concentrating wealth –exacerbating an alarming growth of wealth inequality in America.
I began with Oracle in 1993 and was proud to work among some of the best software development and operations engineers in the world. I’ve made significant contributions to Oracle along the way in my various roles ranging from consulting, product development, customer advocacy, program management and now in Cloud.
I am not with President-elect Trump and I am not here to help him in any way. In fact –when his policies border on the unconstitutional, the criminal and the morally unjust –I am here to oppose him in every possible and legal way.
Therefore I must resign from this once great company.
In an interview with The Guardian on Wednesday, Polisner said that “he was at a point in his career where he felt he could make a statement.”
It’s a demonstration, a credible action as opposed to an expression of frustration,” he said. “Although from a personal economic perspective I’ve probably made better decisions!”
“I thought I could either be a role model in terms of a path forward or a cautionary tale.”
Polisner did not take this decision lightly, and even suggested that he would not have resigned had his boss taken a leave of absence to pursue her position on Trump’s team. He said that he would have been “disappointed” in her, but would have “respected her decision.” Because she chose to stay on with Oracle, he knew that he couldn’t continue to work for the company at that point.
Like the rest of us, Polisner takes serious issue with Trump’s actions to date, namely his hateful and racist rhetoric. He’s particularly concerned with how Trump might be planning to use technology as a weapon to further his own agenda, concentrating wealth while persecuting people susceptible to attack, namely minority groups and particularly women and the Muslim community.
Why others in the tech community are not following suit is mindboggling, but Polisner plans to find a way to take his experience along with his values and find a way to unite like-minded thinkers in his community, along with the rest of America.
I would love to figure out how we can build a loosely coupled network for progressives,” Polisner said, “so people can have autonomy and freedom of thought but work together in a crisis.”
Donald Trump is leading America down a very dangerous path that may take us decades to get back from unless we continue to speak out and adhere to our values. George Polisner’s decision to resign from Oracle so publicly is a message, and everyone should listen.