Tech Bigwigs Headed to NYC for Trump Tech Summit

It could be 'super awkward'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2016 11:42 AM CST
Tech Bigwigs Headed to NYC for Trump Tech Summit
It's anyone's guess what will happen at this week's Trump-led tech summit.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Donald Trump has invited some of the biggest names in tech to a summit at NYC's Trump Tower on Wednesday, and a good number of them have RSVP'd yes, per USA Today and Investor's Business Daily. Reported "ayes" are Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, Apple's Tim Cook, Google/Alphabet's Larry Page, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, and Oracle's Safra Catz. Amazon's Jeff Bezos is still up in the air, while Twitter's Jack Dorsey, Uber's Travis Kalanick, and Netflix's Reed Hastings have reportedly declined. No one's quite sure what Trump has planned for the itinerary, but Catz plans to tell Trump "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 US technology community will be stronger and more competitive than ever." Also circulating about the summit:

  • Fortune wonders if any of these techie bigwigs will "stand up to Trump"—it notes "most of Silicon Valley supported Hillary Clinton"—or if they'll simply "defer to him because of the enormous power he will soon have." It points out that some big tech players who aren't shy about criticizing Trump, like Mark Cuban and HP CEO Meg Whitman, weren't invited.
  • Ian Bogost relays for the Atlantic his former job working for a Hollywood production company and offers his insights into why he thinks "Donald Trump is the Michael Bay of politics" and how, for people like Trump who nab respect thanks to their wealth and attention-grabbing personalities, "the resulting power can be lorded over those who cannot, or will not, refuse to pledge fealty to it."
  • Gizmodo gets into why the summit could be "super awkward," notably because Trump has "consistently trash-talked" Silicon Valley. The site has put together what it calls "a brief list of his greatest tech-hating hits," including an especially juicy tweet about Sandberg.
  • A question swirling around one of the biggest names on the invite list: Will Tesla chief Elon Musk attend? Per the Wall Street Journal, people "familiar with the matter" say Musk plans to be there, but a conflicting report says that "critical work obligations" may keep him away, as Recode frames it.
(A deep dive into what happened when Peter Thiel tried to convince teens not to go to college.)

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