Dear Via Team,
Like so many others, my heart was broken and I was deeply troubled by recent events in the US, in particular the murder of George Floyd, which exposed, once again, the pervasive prejudice and inequality that plague our society. We all know first hand, not least from our own wonderful colleagues at Via, the kindness and generosity humans are capable of. But it is truly difficult to comprehend and impossible to accept the anguished images and sounds coming from Minneapolis, Louisville, and Georgia, which reveal a horrifying facet of humanity that we can neither ignore nor underestimate. Such tragedies are made possible when people view others as different, as less than themselves, and as less deserving of humanity. We must do everything in our power to combat this evil and stand against it. When we are silent, we fail ourselves and our fellow humans.
I wanted to share with you an open letter from the Partnership for New York City that we signed on to over the weekend, and will be published later today. It is critical that we all, as individuals and as a company, support equality and inclusion and combat racism and bias wherever and whenever we see it, and we are committed to doing so.
And to our Black teammates, please know that we are with you. We know this is an incredibly difficult time for you and we are here to help. To you, and anyone else at Via who feels personally impacted, please reach out to Sarah or me with anything that is on your mind. We want to hear from you.
With love and hope,
Open Letter From Leaders of the Partnership for New York City
New York, New York; June 1, 2020 – The business community shares the outrage of our fellow New Yorkers over continued racial injustice in America, reflected in the needless death of George Floyd and, more broadly, the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color. As employers and business leaders, we commit to help address conditions that have led to these tragic outcomes.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a further reminder of significant shortcomings in our health, education and economic systems. These shortcomings have hit communities of color in our city disproportionately hard. This experience has shown once again the vital role these communities play in every aspect of our city, including as healthcare providers and other essential workers.
Within our companies and publicly, we are reasserting our commitments to diversity and inclusion among our boards, executive leadership and our entire workforce. As members of the Partnership for New York City, we are supporting programs to ensure that the city’s public school students gain the skills and career opportunities required to achieve economic equality and helping racially diverse entrepreneurs and small businesses survive and rehire workers as quickly as possible.
Throughout the crisis, we have extended philanthropic support to hospitals, food pantries, cash relief programs, social service organizations and many other charities. But no amount of philanthropy can make up for the divisions in American society that the pandemic has exposed and deepened.
By speaking out, we intend to send a message of hope to young New Yorkers who are acting out their frustration, fears and anger on the city streets. Let’s work together to achieve racial equality and a safe, law-abiding society.
New York has prided itself on being the world’s most open and inclusive city, attracting top talent from everywhere to build lives, careers and businesses here. But these opportunities have not been equally accessible to young people of color who have grown up and attended school in our poorest neighborhoods. In our post-pandemic city, that must change, and we are committed to help make that happen.
Mercedes Abramo, President & CEO, North America, Cartier
Lee S. Ainslie, III, Managing Partner, Maverick Capital
Ellen Alemany, Chairman & CEO, CIT Group Inc.
Leo Argiris, Chief Operating Officer, Americas Region, Arup
Jeffrey Aronson and Mark T. Gallogly, Managing Principals, Centerbridge Partners
Robert M. Bakish, President & CEO, ViacomCBS Inc.
Ajay Banga, President & CEO, Mastercard
Neil Barr, Managing Partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Candace K. Beinecke, Senior Partner, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
Charles R. Bendit, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Taconic Investment Partners LLC
Stephen Berger, Chairman, Odyssey Investment Partners, LLC
William H. Berkman, Co-Chairman & CEO, Digital Landscape Group, Inc.
Torry Berntsen, Chief Executive Officer, Americas & Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking, Standard Chartered Bank
David J. Beveridge, Senior Partner, Shearman & Sterling
Frank J. Bisignano, President & COO, fiserv
Leon Black, Chairman & CEO, Apollo Management, L.P.
Michael W. Blair, Presiding Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Jeff T. Blau, Chief Executive Officer, The Related Companies, L.P.
Kathy Bloomgarden, Chief Executive Officer, Ruder Finn, Inc.
Adam M. Blumenthal, Managing Partner, Blue Wolf Capital Partners
Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa, Co-Founders & Co-CEOs, Warby Parker
Michael C. Bodson, President & CEO, The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation
John Borthwick, Founder & CEO, Betaworks
Albert Bourla, Chairman & CEO, Pfizer Inc.
Tory Burch, Chairman, CEO & Designer, Tory Burch LLC
Martin S. Burger, Chief Executive Officer and Larry Silverstein, Chairman, Silverstein Properties, Inc.
Ric Clark, Chairman, Brookfield Property Group
Rodgin Cohen, Senior Chairman and Joe Shenker, Chairman, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Marc Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, PJ Solomon, L.P.
Michael L. Corbat, Chief Executive Officer, Citigroup
David Craig, Chief Executive Officer, Refinitiv
Joseph C. Davis, North America Chairman, The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Todd C. DeGarmo, Chief Executive Officer, STUDIOS Architecture
Jim Dinkins, President, Coca-Cola North America
William R. Dougherty, Chairman, Executive Committee, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Lynne Doughtie, U.S. Chairman & CEO and Paul Knopp, CEO-Elect and Chair-Elect, KPMG LLP
Douglas Durst, Chairman, Durst Organization Inc.
Richard Edelman, President & CEO, Edelman
Scott A. Edelman, Chairman, Milbank LLP
Blair W. Effron, Co-Founder, Centerview Partners LLC
Joel S. Ehrenkranz, Partner and Co-Founder, Ehrenkranz Partners L.P.
Douglas F. Eisenberg, Founder & CEO, A&E Real Estate, LLC
Steven Ellis, Chairman of the Firm, Proskauer
Cathy Engelbert, Commissioner, WNBA
Eric Eve, Chief Executive Officer, Ichor Strategies LLC
Ziel Feldman, Chairman & Founder, HFZ Capital Group
Joseph R. Ficalora, President & CEO, New York Community Bancorp, Inc.
Laurence D. Fink, Chairman & CEO, BlackRock, Inc.
Peter Finn, Founding Partner, Finn Partners
Winston C. Fisher, Partner, Fisher Brothers
Alan H. Fishman, Chairman, Ladder Capital Finance LLC
John Foley, Founder & CEO, Peloton
William E. Ford, Chief Executive Officer, General Atlantic LLC
Bethlam Forsa, Chief Executive Officer, Savvas Learning Company
Paul Fribourg, Chairman & CEO, Continental Grain Company
Adena Friedman, President & CEO, Nasdaq
Eric J. Friedman, Executive Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Jeff Gennette, Chairman & CEO, Macy’s, Inc.
Daniel Glaser, President & CEO, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
Timothy Gokey, Chief Executive Officer, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
Alex Gorsky, Chairman & CEO, Johnson & Johnson
Barry M. Gosin, Chief Executive Officer, Newmark Knight Frank
Peter T. Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg LP
Jonathan N. Grayer, Chairman & CEO, Weld North LLC
David Greenwald, Chairman, Fried Frank LLP
Kelly Grier, U.S. Chairman & Americas Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
Stewart K. Gross, Managing Director, Lightyear Capital
Robin Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue Airways Corporation
Risa Heller, President, Risa Heller Communications
Jonathan S. Henes, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Leslie Wohlman Himmel, Managing Partner, Himmel & Meringoff Properties, Inc.
Barbara Humpton, President & CEO, Siemens USA
Donna Imperato, Chief Executive Officer, BCW
Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman & CEO, Lazard Ltd
John Josephson, Chairman & CEO, Sesac
Brad S. Karp, Chair, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Charles R. Kaye, Chief Executive Officer, Warburg Pincus LLC
Anthony S. Kendall, Chairman & CEO, Mitchell & Titus, LLP
Henry R. Kravis, Co-Chairman & Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Philip Krim, Founder & CEO, Casper
Jeremy M. Kroll, Co-Founder & CEO, K2 Intelligence
William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.
Rochelle B. Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
Kewsong Lee, Co-Chief Executive Officer, The Carlyle Group
Richard S. LeFrak, Chairman & CEO, The LeFrak Organization
Joey Levin, Chief Executive Officer, IAC
Allan Levine, Chairman & CEO, Global Atlantic Financial Company
Jeffrey E. Levine, Chairman, Douglaston Development
Robert A. Levine, Chief Executive Officer, RAL Companies & Affiliates, LLC
Martin Lipton, Senior Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Alex Liu, Managing Partner and Chairman, Kearney
Robert P. LoCascio, Founder & CEO, LivePerson, Inc.
Howard W. Lutnick, Chairman & CEO, Cantor Fitzgerald L.P.
Mehdi Mahmud, CEO & President, First Eagle Investment Management, LLC
Vikram Malhotra, Senior Partner & Chairman of the Americas, McKinsey & Company, Inc.
Anthony Malkin, Chairman & CEO, Empire State Realty Trust
Anthony E. Mann, President & CEO, E-J Electric Installation Co.
Theodore Mathas, Chairman & CEO, New York Life Insurance Company
Sandeep Mathrani, Chief Executive Officer, WeWork
Peter W. May, President & Founding Partner, Trian Partners
John McAvoy, Chairman, President & CEO, Con Edison, Inc.
Charles R. McCall, Chief Executive Officer, Astoria Energy II LLC & Astoria Energy LLC
Raymond W. McDaniel, Jr., President & CEO, Moody’s Corporation
Bill McDermott, President & CEO, ServiceNow
Anish Melwani, Chairman & CEO, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc.
Avner Mendelson, President & CEO, Bank Leumi USA
Jayne Millard, Chairman and Co-CEO and Kathleen Shanahan, Co-CEO, Turtle & Hughes, Inc.
Edward J. Minskoff, President, Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc.
Ken Moelis, Chairman and CEO, Moelis & Company
Greg Mondre, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Silver Lake
Thomas K. Montag, COO, Bank of America
Daniel Moore, President & CEO, Rockefeller Group International, Inc.
Tyler Morse, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner, MCR Development LLC
Deanna M. Mulligan, Chief Executive Officer, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Oscar Munoz, Executive Chairman, United Airlines, Inc.
Masaki Nakajima, President & CEO, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas
Tom Naratil, President Americas and Co-President Global Wealth Management, UBS Group AG
Daniel Nardello, Chief Executive Officer, Nardello & Co. LLC
Liz Neumark, Founder & CEO, Great Performances
Jon Oringer, Executive Chairman, Shutterstock, Inc.
Mark Pearson, President & CEO, Equitable
Debbie Perelman, President & CEO, Revlon, Inc.
Douglas L. Peterson, President & CEO, S&P Global
Michael A. Peterson, Chairman & CEO, Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Charles E. Phillips, Jr., Chairman, Infor
Michael Phillips, President, Jamestown Properties LLC
Deirdre Quinn, Co-Founder & CEO, Lafayette 148 New York
Daniel Ramot, Co-Founder & CEO, Via
Steven L. Rattner, Chairman & CEO, Willett Advisors LLC
Scott H. Rechler, Chairman & CEO, RXR Realty LLC
Christiana Riley, Member of the Management Board, Deutsche Bank AG, CEO, Deutsche Bank USA Corp.
James D. Robinson, III, Co-Founder & General Partner, RRE Ventures
John Romeo, Managing Partner, Oliver Wyman
James A. Rosenthal, Chief Executive Officer, BlueVoyant
Evan Roth, Co-CEO, BBR Partners, LLC
Michael I. Roth, Chairman & CEO, Interpublic Group
Steven Roth, Chairman & CEO, Vornado Realty Trust
Steven Rubenstein, President, Rubenstein Communications, Inc.
Mitchell E. Rudin, President, Savills Inc.
William C. Rudin, Co-Chairman & CEO, Rudin Management Company, Inc.
Kevin P. Ryan, Founder & CEO, AlleyCorp
Tim Ryan, U.S. Chair and Senior Partner, PwC
Faiza Saeed, Presiding Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Scott Salmirs, President & CEO, ABM Industries Inc.
Kathleen Savio, Chief Executive Officer, Zurich North America
Charles W. Scharf, President & CEO, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Michael Schmidtberger, Partner & Chair of the Executive Committee, Sidley Austin LLP
Alan D. Schnitzer, Chairman & CEO, The Travelers Companies, Inc.
Alan D. Schwartz, Executive Chairman, Guggenheim Partners, LLC
Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder, Blackstone
Suzanne Shank, President & CEO and Christopher J. Williams, Chairman, Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC
Tarek Sherif, Chairman & CEO, Medidata Solutions, Inc.
Jonathan Silvan, Chief Executive Officer, Global Strategy Group, LLC
Adam Silver, Commissioner, National Basketball Association
Joshua Silverman, Chief Executive Officer, Etsy, Inc.
Michael Slocum, President, Commercial Banking, Capital One
Rob Speyer, President & CEO, Tishman Speyer
Robert K. Steel, Chief Executive Officer, Perella Weinberg Partners LP
Steven R. Swartz, President & CEO, Hearst
Julie Sweet, Chief Executive Officer, Accenture and Jimmy Etheredge, Chief Executive Officer, Accenture North America
Paul J. Taubman, Chairman & CEO, PJT Partners Inc.
Teiji Teramoto, Chairman & CEO, Mizuho Americas
Owen D. Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Boston Properties
Mary Ann Tighe, Chief Executive Officer, NY Tri-State Region, CBRE, Inc.
James S. Tisch, President & CEO, Loews Corporation
Paul Todd, Chief Executive Officer, GLG
William B. Tyree, Managing Partner, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
Joseph Ucuzoglu, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte
Sayu Ueno, President & CEO, Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.
Robert Vecchio, Chief Executive Officer, LPI, Inc.
Ellis Verdi, President, DeVito/Verdi
James R. Wacht, President, Lee & Associates NYC
George H. Walker, Chairman & CEO, Neuberger Berman Group LLC
Pamela S. Wasserstein, President, Vox Media
Charles Weinstein, Chief Executive Officer, EisnerAmper LLP
David Winter, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Standard Industries Inc.
Robert Wolf, Chief Executive Officer, 32 Advisors LLC
Laila J. Worrell, Chief Executive Officer, Altran Americas
Kathryn S. Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City
Tim Zagat, Co-Founder, Zagat
David M. Zaslav, President & CEO, Discovery, Inc.
Jide Zeitlin, Chairman & CEO, Tapestry, Inc.
Strauss Zelnick, Partner, ZMC