US POLITICS

Donald Trump Wants To Help Tech Leaders ‘Do Well’

The president-elect and Silicon Valley leaders talked shop behind closed doors

US POLITICS
Getty Images
Dec 14, 2016 at 6:15 PM ET

Silicon Valley’s giants entered Trump’s tower to talk business on Wednesday afternoon. President-elect Donald Trump summoned some of the biggest players in tech to discuss American jobs, international trade and their relationship with his incoming administration.

“I’m here to help you folks do well,” Trump said to the room filled with billionaires, some of whom had tense relationships with during his campaign. “We want you to keep going with the incredible innovation — there’s nobody like you in the world.”

Some of the most notable names meeting with Trump include Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos and Tesla and SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella and Alphabet’s Larry Page were also present, along with executives from Oracle, IBM, Intel and Cisco. Earlier on Wednesday, Trump also named Musk and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick as advisors on his Strategic and Policy Forum.

“I won’t tell you the hundreds of calls we’ve had asking to come to this meeting and I will say Peter would start saying, ‘no that company is too small,’” Trump said, referencing tech investor Peter Thiel, an advisor and one of his highest-profile supporters in Silicon Valley.

One of the notable CEO missing at the roundtable was Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey — who said he wasn’t sure if he was even invited. An aide to Trump told Business Insider that the reason Dorsey was not invited was because Twitter, the company, is not “big enough.” However, Politico reports that the reason Twitter’s co-founder was not invites is because he blocked Trump’s political ad campaign that featured the hashtag “#CrookedHillary” and a dollar bag emoji next to it.

Trump’s  roundtable also included Vice President-elect Mike Pence, chief advisor Steve Bannon, chief-of staff Reince Priebus and entrepreneur Peter Thiel. Trump’s children Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric were also in the room. Oracle’s CEO Safra Catz told Bloomberg upon arriving at the Trump Tower that one of her main interests in meeting with Trump was international trade.

“Better trade deals are tremendously important to us,” Catz said. “We are net exporters—over 60 percent of our sales are overseas. So better trade deals are very much in our interest.”

Only the introduction of the meeting was public, after which reporters were reportedly ushered out of the room. But tech leaders and Trump could have discussed a host of key issues, including trade, tax and immigration policies as well as cybersecurity and Internet regulations.