Trump to tech execs: I’m here to help you folks do well

In an extraordinary meeting, President-elect Donald Trump heaped praise on the 13 tech executives meeting at his offices in Trump Tower in New York Wednesday and offered to help the industry.

“There’s no one like you in the world,” he said.

The meeting was the first major opportunity for Silicon Valley leaders and Trump to move beyond the vitriol of the campaign season and begin to work together, as I wrote in a column. It was also awkward, because some of the tech executives had actively supported former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton. Some argued that the tech notables shouldn’t meet with Trump at all.

But meet they did, most in suits. After they were ushered in, along with the press pool, the group introduced themselves. The seating chart put Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Peter Thiel, the venture capitalist on either side of Trump.

On the other side of Pence was Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who said she was “excited to talk about jobs.”

Alphabet CEO Larry Page pointed out that Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is the youngest firm in the room. He sat between Sandberg and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who said he was “super excited that this could be the innovation administration.”

On the other side of Thiel was Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, Safra Catz, co-CEO of Oracle, and Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX. Earlier in the day, the Trump transition team said it was adding Musk and Uber’s Travis Kalanick to his Strategic and Policy Forum, an economic advisory committee that had been notable for its lack of technology executives.

Also in the room were three of Trump’s children, Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric.

Once introductions were done, Trump gave a few words of praise for Thiel and then for the collected group of tech executives.

He said they must like him because their stocks have gone up since his election (although as CNBC  points out tech shares are generally underperforming compared to the overall market):

And I’m very honored by the bounce. They are all talking about the bounce,” he said. “So right now everyone in this room has to like me, at least a little bit. We’re going to try to have that bounce continue. Perhaps even more importantly, we want you to keep going with the incredible innovation.

There’s no one like you in the world, in the world, there’s no one like the people in this room. Anything we can do to help this go along we’re going to be there for you. You call my people, you call me. It makes no difference. We have no formal chain of command around here. We’re going to do fair trade deals, we’re going to make it a lot easier for you to trade.

Afterward, Don Jr. tweeted:

Above: Republican President-elect Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to the crowd during his acceptance speech at his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


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  • SuperTech86

    He’s pathetic.

  • tomaras

    Just a little curious why you neglected to mention that the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella was in attendance as well? All time stock highs, market cap of nearly 500 billion.