Seattle’s Most Influential People 2019: Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith

This year, Smith pledged $500 million to be spent on increasing affordable housing in Seattle

This article appears in print in the November 2019 issue, as part of the Most Influential People of the Year feature. Click here to subscribe.

Microsoft’s recent renaissance is nothing new; the local tech giant has seen substantial revenue growth since Satya Nadella took over in 2014. (Nadella made our Most Influential list that same year.) This year, Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith is making sure some of that revenue goes to a good cause: In January, he pledged $500 million to be spent on increasing affordable housing in Seattle. Of that, $225 million has been promised to middle-income housing in six cities near its headquarters in Redmond, and $250 million to building low-income housing. The remaining $25 million will go to services for low-income and homeless residents.

Where other companies shirk responsibility in alleviating the local housing crisis, Smith has addressed it head on, saying that when you create jobs, you need to create housing, too.

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