Microsoft president and CLO takes aim at administration for Huawei treatment
Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith was, at the time of his promotion, charged with changing the software giant’s tough reputation, either in litigation or how it competed in the marketplace. At the same time, Smith frequently speaks his mind on the day’s issues, from privacy to diversity in the legal profession.
He’s just published a book, “Tools and Weapons: The promise and the peril of the digital age.” We’re about to read it, but the reviews are trickling out, and Smith has hit the interview circuit.
Specifically, Smith takes aim at the Trump administration’s actions toward the Chinese network and phone colossus Huawei. Specifically, Huawei is banned from buying U.S. technology, including, not coincidentally, software from Microsoft. Smith is understandably irate. ‘To tell a company company that it can sell products, but not buy an operating system or chips, is like telling a hotel company that it can open its doors, but not put beds in its hotel rooms or food in its restaurant. Either way, you put the survival of that company at risk,” Smith told Bloomberg Business Week in an interview.
Smith’s solution? Using a legal scalpel, rather than a meat cleaver. He says that democracies should band together and come up with joint standards for privacy and data protection, and then press China for reform.