Top execs from Apple, Google, Facebook and more will meet in New York at Trump Tower
According to numerous sources, there will be no firm agenda at the tech summit taking place in New York tomorrow between Silicon Valley’s top leaders and President-elect Donald Trump, but the general topic will be jobs and the economy and how it will be impacted by digital technologies.
Those who will be attending include Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Oracle CEO Safra Catz. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos might also be part of the gathering, said sources.
The invite for the Wednesday event came from Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus, as well as his son-in-law and chief whisperer Jared Kushner. But the dog-and-pony show was orchestrated by Trump’s biggest tech supporter, investor Peter Thiel.
Those close to the process said that Thiel — who is on the Facebook board with Sandberg — and others helping Trump reach out to the tech community had a hard time convincing them to attend, largely due to his persistent public hostility to one of the U.S. economy’s few bright and innovative arenas.
In addition, most of Silicon Valley’s leadership backed Trump rival and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and were even more supportive of outgoing President Barack Obama.
Tech companies also stand on the other side of a myriad of key issues from Trump, including immigration reform, encryption and a range of social concerns. But those involved said that tech leaders had little choice in accepting the invitation, even if they wanted to decline, opting to engage now even if they later oppose Trump.
We’ll see if they bring those issues up with Trump or if they remain quiet with a wait-and-see stance about the new administration. Some, like me and others, think the tech industry should meet with Trump, but also bring up issues important to it, including free trade.
Recode will try to get details from the closed door meeting room tomorrow and report on any public statements the participants make at the venue or online. That includes persistent tweet star, Trump. Ironically, Twitter CEO and creator Jack Dorsey was not invited to the meeting.