Mercedes boss ‘deeply shaken’ by events since terrorist attacks against Israel

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Mercedes boss ‘deeply shaken’ by events since terrorist attacks against Israel

Ola Kaellenius's post on LinkedIn refers to R&D site in Tel Aviv and follows statements by heads of Google and Microsoft

The head of Mercedes-Benz has publicly shown his support for the company’s workers in Israel following the terrorist attacks on 7 October.

Posting on LinkedIn, Ola Kaellenius said he was “deeply shaken by the news and pictures that are broadcasted around the world since the terrorist attacks against Israel”.

Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kaellenius

The CEO wrote on Friday: “And I am extremely concerned about the potential repercussions for peace in the Middle East. I have colleagues, long-standing acquaintances and good friends in the region. My heartfelt compassion goes out to all those who are suffering from the violence and who are now mourning the loss of loved ones. My thoughts are also with the many injured, those kidnapped and their families.”

Kaellenius said Mercedes-Benz was in constant exchange with the team at the company’s R&D site in Tel Aviv, “with their safety being the utmost priority.”

The luxury car manufacturer is donating €1m to the aid organisation United Hatzalah, dedicated to the procurement of rescue vehicles, as well as to German Red Cross, which is co-ordinating humanitarian aid in the region together with their sister organisations.

Kaellenius follows other tech CEOs including Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Google’s Sundar Pichai, who have spoken out since the terrorist attacks.

Nadella condemned the Hamas massacre in Israel and subsequent anti-Israel demonstrations at American universities.

During an interview with Axel Springer, he said: “There was a terrorist attack by Hamas on innocent citizens of Israel, and that has to be condemned in the strongest possible ways.” He had previously stated that he was “heartbroken by the horrific terrorist attacks on Israel and the escalating conflict”.

Soon after 7 October, Google’s CEO sent an email to every employee, reassuring them that the company had successfully established contact with employees either working in or travelling to Israel and would continue to provide support. He said: “Google has two offices and over 2,000 employees in Israel. The experiences they are going through are unimaginable.”

Pichai also pledged Google’s support for humanitarian and relief organisations operating on the ground.

Others that have spoken out to condemn Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel  and express support with Israel include Amazon’s President and CEO Andy Jassy and Disney, which said it was is donating $2 million to organisations that are providing humanitarian relief in the region.

Venture capital investor Eze Vidra, the managing partner of Remagine Ventures, told Jewish News: “You don’t have to be Jewish or Israeli to condemn Hamas’ heinous crimes against innocent Israeli civilians. We’ve also seen a dramatic rise in antisemitism incidents. I applaud the CEOs of Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, Google and many others who publicly condemned the terrorist attacks committed by Hamas on October 7.

“Taking a stand against terrorism and antisemitism sends an important message and establishes a moral clarity to employees, customers and the wider business community. Remaining silent can be seen as complicit acceptance. I believe more leaders should speak up, and make it clear that supporting hatred and violence against Israel or Jews will not be tolerated.”

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