Google’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella are rushing aid to India as the country battles an onslaught of coronavirus cases.
The Indian-born CEOs pledged in statements Monday to help tackle a critical shortage of medical oxygen, provide technical expertise and deploy corporate resources as the country continues to set world records for daily infections. “I am heartbroken by the current situation in India,” Nadella wrote on Twitter. “I’m grateful the US government is mobilizing to help. Microsoft will continue to use its voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices,” he added.
Nadella was joined hours later by Pichai, who said in a Twitter post that he was “devastated to see the worsening Covid crisis,” and announced 1.35 billion rupees ($18 million) in aid from Google and its employees. Google (GOOGL) said in a blog post that it would provide a grant to UNICEF for urgent medical supplies, including oxygen and testing equipment. Give India, an online donation platform, will receive a grant for families hit by the crisis. The company is also contributing $15 million in free advertising for public health information campaigns.
Nadella and Pichai are two of India’s most successful global executives. Nadella, who is originally from the southern city of Hyderabad, has worked at Microsoft (MSFT) since 1992 and became chief executive in 2014. Pichai was born in Tamil Nadu. He famously didn’t have a computer growing up until moving to the United States to study at Stanford University, and joined Google in 2004. Pichai was named CEO of the firm in 2015, and later assumed the mantle at parent company Alphabet in 2019. The executives’ commitments come as India’s second wave, which began in mid-March, devastates communities and hospitals across the country. Everything is in short supply — intensive care unit beds, medicine, oxygen and ventilators. Bodies are piling up in morgues and crematoriums.