Trump to Tech Titans: ‘Like Me a Little Bit’

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President-elect Donald Trump met with high-profile tech titans at Trump Tower in New York City on Dec. 14, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

“I’m here to help you folks do well, and you’re doing well right now and I’m very honored by ‘the bounce’—they’re all talking about ‘the bounce’ and I know everybody in this room has to like me a little bit,” Trump reportedly said to the executives arranged around his conference table, apparently in reference to the stock market’s post-election rise. (Mashable, along with a few other tech publications, collated the Tweets and reports filtering from inside the building.)

Whether or not they like him now, many of Silicon Valley’s top executives expressed reservations about the President-elect in the months leading up to the election. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who was also present at the meeting, criticized Trump in early November; Jeff Bezos helpfully offered to shoot Trump into space aboard one of his Blue Origin rockets.

Now that Trump has won the election, however, a certain degree of pragmatism has taken hold. Musk has joined Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (not present at the meeting) on the Strategic and Policy Forum, which will attempt to advise the President on business issues. And Bezos, like many tech leaders, has made conciliatory statements about working with the new administration.

“Perhaps even more importantly we want you to keep going with the incredible innovation,” Trump added during the meeting. “There’s nobody like you in the world. There’s nobody like the people in this room. You’ll call my people, you’ll call me. It doesn’t make any difference, we have no formal chain of command around here.”

Others present at the gathering included Alphabet’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Palantir CEO Alex Karp, and Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins.

One interesting absence: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who runs the social network that Trump can’t seem to stop using. According to a report in Politico, Dorsey was excluded “for refusing during the campaign to allow an emoji version of the hashtag #crookedhillary.” Twitter has not confirmed that report.

There are a lot of outstanding questions about Trump’s tech policies, including his stance on H-1B visas; some of those issues, including the preservation of net neutrality, are a source of worry to companies such as Google. Tech leaders obviously hope that they can help shape his administration’s positions in days to come. While Trump told those at the meeting that he planned to help tech companies “trade across borders” more easily, he declined to dig into the nitty-gritty of policy.

Image Credit: Twitter/@seanspicer

Comments

3 Responses to “Trump to Tech Titans: ‘Like Me a Little Bit’”

December 25, 2016 at 1:10 am, Robert Miles said:

Did Trump mean a VERY little bit?

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February 01, 2017 at 5:36 pm, Dany said:

I’m not understanding why US company do not want to hire home skill. There are skill right here in United State, but they want chip labour. H!b Visa, L1 Visa, B1/B2 visa are loop hole for them for third party consulting firm. Each and every big company has middleman called prefered Vendor, Preferred Vendor are hiring overseas STEM worker, supplying on site by B1/B2 visa, Or by L1 visa, or by calling employee from overseas establishment and killing american jobs and economy chain on contractual opportunity. Workforce coming from overseas do not have any liability in USA, no mortgage, no insurance, no student loan & no college fees for their children.
No matter what H1b or any type of visa holder can stay more than 120 days period. These will force all consulting company to hire
American citizen or Green Card holder, the way american be happy by paying there bills

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March 16, 2017 at 11:29 am, SFPM said:

This is more Trump “alt-truth”. While Trump shouts “Buy American-Hire American”, he actually does neither He continues to use imported steel in his projects and foreign workers for his wine and hotel businesses.
As a tech worker who has watched his only options become competing for contracts against H1B holders, I can say without question that the companies are abusing the H1B process to bring in young, cheaper workers rather than hire older workers with higher salaries. I can name a number of friends who can fill STEM positions and are unemployed while the companies claim they can’t find people, so need foreign workers.
To be clear, I don’t blame the H1B workers. My experience has been that they are competent and work hard, but they are only cheap because they are also treated poorly in this system. They are frequently treated more like indentured servents than employees. In order to live on their lower salaries they get assigned to marginal apartments shared with numbers of others. They live in fear of losing their jobs as this would send them home, so they don’t make any waves. While these may be the next best thing to robots, this isn’t “Making America Great Again”.

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