After Fierce Opposition, the Tech ‘gods’ Come Face-to-Face With Trump

The Tech industry leaders were by far the fiercest opponents to Trump’s presidential campaign. They were very open about their contempt for him. Now that he has won, the tech ‘gods’ might just decide to start working with him. Hopefully this is good news for everyone. Check it.

Technology leaders are about to come face-to-face with President-elect Donald Trump after fiercely opposing his candidacy, fearful that he would stifle innovation, curb the hiring of computer-savvy immigrants and infringe on consumers’ digital privacy.

On Wednesday, Silicon Valley luminaries and other technology leaders are headed to Trump Tower in New York to make their peace — or press their case — with Trump and his advisers. The CEOs planning to attend include Apple’s Tim Cook, Alphabet’s Larry Page, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Intel’s Brian Krzanich, IBM’s Ginni Rometty, Oracle’s Safra Catz and Cisco Systems’ Chuck Robbins.

Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, will be on hand instead of its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who was one of many tech executives to express misgivings about Trump’s pledge to deport millions of immigrants.

TECH VS. TRUMP

It could be a prickly meeting.

No other industry was more open in its contempt for Trump during the campaign. In an open letter published in July, more than 140 technology executives, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists skewered Trump as a “disaster for innovation.”

Most of the companies with executives attending Wednesday’s meeting declined to comment ahead of the gathering. But Oracle’s Catz said in a statement that she plans to tell Trump “that we are with him and are here to help in any way we can. If he can reform the tax code, reduce regulation, and negotiate better trade deals, the U.S. technology community will be stronger and more competitive than ever.”

Other tech institutions are also signaling an end to the animosity.

The Internet Association, a trade group whose members include Google, Facebook and Amazon, praised Trump in an open letter last month for his use of Twitter and other digital tools to help him get elected. The letter also appealed to Trump’s emphasis on the economy, citing statistics estimating that the internet sector accounted for nearly $1 trillion of the country’s gross domestic product.

Some conservatives say they’re actually worried that Trump might get too friendly with tech. Peter Flaherty, the president of the National Legal and Policy Center, charges that big technology companies exploited their close relationship with President Obama “to feather their nests and push for policies that benefit them at the expense of the American worker.”

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