A who’s who of tech leaders are reportedly heading to New York City to meet with president-elect Donald Trump Wednesday.
The list, first reported by Recode, with additions from other outlets, includes Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos; Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella; Apple CEO Tim Cook; Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg; Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, CEO and chairman of Google parent Alphabet; Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz; Intel CEO Brian Krzanich; IBM CEO Ginni Rometty; Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins; and Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors.
We’ve reached out to Amazon and Microsoft to confirm Bezos and Nadella’s attendance but haven’t heard back.
Though Trump has used social media extensively in recent years, technology is largely a foreign concept to the U.S. president-elect. Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper he shouts out Tweets to staffers in his office during the day, rather than composing them himself. As a candidate for the Republican nomination, Trump advocated “closing up that Internet in some way” and consulting with Bill Gates as a means of fighting terrorism.
But Trump’s lack of experience with tech is just part of what puts him at odds with the industry. During the campaign, many tech industry leaders lined up against Trump on policy issues, with some saying he would be “a disaster for innovation” in an open letter.
Trump has tussled with several of the tech leaders reportedly attending the meeting. He sparred with Jeff Bezos in the past, saying he used The Washington Post, which Bezos purchased in 2013 for $250 million, to influence politicians in Washington D.C. and keep them from taxing Amazon. Trump has alluded to the possibility that Amazon could face antitrust issues under his presidency.
Bezos has said Trump’s remarks were “not an appropriate way for a presidential candidate to behave, though he congratulated Trump following the election and wished him great success.
Trump famously singled out Apple for overseas manufacturing when he said he was going to get the company to “start building their damn computers and things in this country” during a speech in January at Liberty University. Trump went on to call for a boycott of Apple products after the company refused to give up confidential information from an iPhone owned by one of the terrorists involved in a shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. The FBI had been requesting that Apple supply the data.
Apple’s Cook opposed Trump but supported House Republicans. Trump’s comments and actions unnerved Apple enough to convince the tech company to pull its funding and other support for the Republican National Convention. Following Trump’s victory Cook, wrote a memo to Apple employees urging them to look ahead, and attempting to address anxiety felt by minority groups over the election results.
Microsoft took a diplomatic approach to Trump’s impending presidency, congratulating him and urging him to pay attention to issues of job creation, infrastructure, diversity, and cybersecurity.
But Trump isn’t without allies in the tech industry. Trump tapped Facebook board member and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel to play a key role in his transition team. Thiel is reported to have helped set up the meeting between Trump and the tech executives.