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December 12, 2016

Trump, Tech Leaders to Meet This Week

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. — Photo by Gage Skidmore.

U.S. president-elect Donald Trump will meet this week with some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names in a bid to find some common ground and discuss issues that will impact business and the technology sector alike.

The Wednesday meeting in New York will be attended by Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Oracle CEO Safra Catz, according to Recode. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is also likely to attend while Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, according to the report, does not know if he has been invited.

Tim Cook

Tim Cook

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

Invited but not attending, according to Recode, are Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston.

The invitations, many of which were sent out last week, were signed by Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, chief of staff Reince Priebus, and billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, who supported Trump’s campaign to the tune of more than $1 million.

Most of the tech leaders are staying quiet about the upcoming meeting, but Oracle’s Catz had this to say: “I plan to tell the President-elect that we are with him and will help in any way we can. If he can reform the tax code, reduce regulation and negotiate better trade deals, the U.S. technology industry will be stronger and more competitive than ever.”

The meeting should be an interesting one. Trump has been quite vocal about promising “very large tax cut for corporations” to bring tech manufacturing stateside again and has called out Apple, in particular, for manufacturing its products in Asia. Trump called current tax regulations “a free-for-all,” saying the are preventing companies from starting up or expanding in the U.S.

Another topic sure to come up is Net neutrality. Trump recently named two known Net neutrality nay sayers to his transition team for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC): economist Jeff Eisenach and former Sprint lobbyist Mark Jamison. They will oversee hiring and policy for the federal telecommunications agency.

It is widely believed Trump intends to do away with Net neutrality, a tough broadband regulation plan championed by President Barack Obama and a concept supported by most big technology firms.

The media has not been invited to the meeting but, given Trump’s penchant for tweeting, some details are sure to be learned that way.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.