We will look back on 2020 as a watershed moment; the year everything changed. It would have been impossible to comprehend the speed and scale of the multiple challenges before us today. From the global pandemic, continued systemic inequities, geopolitical uncertainty and cybersecurity, to the march of climate change with extreme weather events impacting our own employees and immediate communities, these tumultuous events have shown how deeply interconnected we are as humans. It has driven home the interdependent relationship between a healthy economy, social connection, and public-health systems. It has also underscored the urgency of resilience as a business imperative, shining a light on the need for inclusive and sustainable solutions to the challenges we face. This new reality has also fueled my resolve as CEO to move faster to the future for the benefit and well-being of all our stakeholders. There is hard work to do to address these complex challenges, but there is also opportunity to reimagine what’s possible.
I believe 2020 will be a defining moment that will permanently change the way we work, learn, connect, worship and simply how we live in community with each other. The benefits of distributed work are significant: improved quality of life for people who commute less, and greater choice around where and how they work. For businesses, it is an opportunity to not only increase their resilience, but also reduce their carbon footprint and increase diversity and inclusion through access to talent around the world. For society, it’s an opportunity for us to drive systemic and structural changes for the better in areas like health and education. At VMware, our EPIC2 values have proven an effective compass for our 32K strong community as the company has rallied, innovated and collaborated in incredible ways to support our customers, partners and communities because doing the right thing is never a debate. Many of our customers have successfully transformed what were seemingly insurmountable obstacles just a few short months ago. We are embarking on a new era where technology must play a critical role in addressing the world’s most pressing challenges, especially as 5G, cloud, AI, and EDGE computing go mainstream. In an increasingly unpredictable world, we are committed to enabling the digital foundation of the future that helps our customers and partners take hold of the technology acceleration underway and use it to drive positive outcomes.
Like any aspect of business strategy, there are important moments to take stock and evaluate where you are and where you are going. For corporate responsibility, that time is now. While regularly reporting on Environment, Social and Governance impact is commonplace and just good business, this year is also challenging our assumptions about what corporate responsibility means for a new era. As 2020 has unfolded, it has given us pause to reflect on the future we want to live in and determine our part in creating it. We believe in a future that is equitable, inclusive and just. One where technology solves complex problems yet engenders trust for those who depend on it. In this future, we serve all our stakeholders and sustainability creates greater prosperity as the world rallies around the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
I’m proud of the 2020 Global Impact goals we’ve accomplished and inspired to introduce a new chapter of Responsible Impact at VMware. In the months ahead, we will be introducing a set of material goals that we’re committing to achieve in the next decade focused on outcomes of Equity, Trust and Sustainability. As business leaders, we face an urgent call to pay attention to the world around us, to listen, to learn and to take collective action that benefits the many versus the few. We have work to do. Translating a long-term vision for 2030 into concrete business objectives requires a new kind of thinking, a commitment to operationalizing bold goals and embedding ESG more deeply into the rhythms of our business. Corporate responsibility is no longer a nice to have, it’s a business imperative. Let’s harness this defining moment to innovate and shape a better and more resilient world for all.
— Pat Gelsinger, who served as CEO from September 2012 to February 2021