Trump to tech lead­ers: “We’re here to help”

In­dus­try heavy­weights agree to meet quar­terly

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jonathan Lemire and Michael Liedtke

new york» Pres­i­dent -elect Don­ald Trump, who faced fierce op­po­si­tion from some Sil­i­con Val­ley lead­ers dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign, strove to as­sure the ti­tans of tech on Wed­nes­day that his ad­min­is­tra­tion is “here to help you folks do well.”

Trump, still sa­vor­ing his elec­tion vic­tory, con­vened a sum­mit at Trump Tower for nearly a dozen tech lead­ers, whose in­dus­try largely sup­ported Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton. Many in the in­dus­try are wor­ried Trump will sti­fle in­no­va­tion, curb the hir­ing of com­puter-savvy im­mi­grants and in­fringe on con­sumers’ digital pri­vacy.

He im­me­di­ately tried to al­lay those fears.

“We want you to keep go­ing with the in­cred­i­ble in­no­va­tion. Any­thing we can do to help this go on, we will be there for you,” Trump said.

“You’ll call my peo­ple; you’ll call me. We have no for­mal chain of com­mand around here.”

The CEOs who filled the ta­ble in Trump’s 25th-floor con­fer­ence room in­cluded Ap­ple’s Tim Cook, Al­pha­bet’s Larry Page, Google’s Eric Sch­midt, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Ama­zon’s Jeff Be­zos, Tesla’s Elon Musk, IBM’s Ginni Rometty, Or­a­cle’s Safra Catz and Cisco Sys­tems’ Chuck Rob­bins. Face­book’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, Sh­eryl Sand­berg, at­tended in­stead of its CEO, Mark Zucker­berg, who is one of many tech ex­ec­u­tives who have ex­pressed mis­giv­ings about Trump’s pledge to de­port mil­lions of im­mi­grants who are in the coun­try il­le­gally.

The meet­ing re­mained ami­able, and the group, which agreed to meet quar­terly, also had pre­lim­i­nary dis­cus­sions about im­mi­gra­tion and how to stay com­pet­i­tive with China, al­though no firm com­mit­ments were made, ac­cord­ing to a per­son briefed on the meet­ing but not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss it pub­licly.

Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook, right, and PayPal founder Peter Thiel, cen­ter, lis­ten as Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump speaks Wed­nes­day dur­ing a meet­ing with tech in­dus­try lead­ers at Trump Tower in New York. Evan Vucci, The As­so­ci­ated Press

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