Microsoft Executive Fears For Israel's High-Tech Sector

Tomer Simon, chief scientist at Microsoft Israel's R&D Center, expressed concerns in a letter to Tzachi Hanegbi, head of Israel's National Security Council, about the future of the country’s high-tech sector as the Israel-Hamas war rages on.

He warned that multinational companies may close research and development centers in the country as a result of the ongoing war.

Simon did not get a response from Hanegbi, so on Wednesday he wrote a letter that was published in the Calcalist, a financial daily newspaper in Israel. He wanted to make it clear that the content of the letter is solely his personal opinion and did not reflect the concerns of Microsoft, one of hundreds of multinationals operating in Israel.

Advertising is now high-tech. Although the book is hardly closed on Israeli ad-technology, mounting concern for the country's future is real. Some of the world's largest technology companies have offices in Israel -- including Google, Microsoft, Meta, IBM, and Nvidia -- and many smaller ones were founded either in Israel or by Israelis, including Skai, Similarweb, Taboola, AppNexus, AppsFlyer, Atly, and Zoomd. 



Simon's concerns are for the human cost of the war and the economic future of Israel. "This is a situation that has already taken a very heavy toll on our citizens and now threatens the structural integrity of our country's economic and innovative capabilities," he wrote. 

Simon is asking business leaders to send a clear message to international partners and the global business community that Israel is committed to a prosperous and stable future in high-tech.

The Israel-based digital intelligence company Similarweb, which is scheduled to release Q3 2023 earnings on November 7, has been deeply affected by the Israel-Hamas-war and immediately supported the relief effort. The company began supporting “50 families who were forced to evacuate from southern Israel and have been temporarily housed in the Abrahams Hostel,” according to one report.

Adam Singolda, CEO of Taboola, the media and ad-technology firm based in Israel, posted an update on X, ensuring that those in Israel are supported by many at the company worldwide.

Google has two offices and more than 2,000 employees in Israel.

Reuters reported that “hundreds of thousands of army reservists have been called up, leaving a gaping hole in manpower and disrupting supply chains from seaports to supermarkets.”

Simon did not cite figures in his letter, but Reuters noted the Israeli government has estimated as much as 15% of tech workers were called to military service.

2 comments about "Microsoft Executive Fears For Israel's High-Tech Sector".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, November 21, 2023 at 9:12 p.m.

    Hmmm.  What is more important - people's lives, or to have some companies re-locate?

  2. Laurie Sullivan from lauriesullivan, November 21, 2023 at 9:19 p.m.

    John, thanks for commenting, but hope you read the entire article. It clearly states his concerns are for the human cost of the war and the economic future of Israel. 

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