Look who’s coming (and not coming) to the White House to talk tech with Trump

Some of the tech world’s biggest names will huddle today with President Trump for the first meeting of the American Technology Council.

Born of an executive order Trump signed in May, the group of CEOs from Silicon Valley and beyond will tackle a wide-ranging agenda, providing the president and Vice President Mike Pence with input on subjects including H-1B visas, ways to modernize the federal technology infrastructure and how to bolster’s the nation’s defense against cyber attacks.

Two names, however, will be noticeably absent: Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who stepped down from two of Trump’s other advisory councils after the president pulled out of the Paris climate accord, and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, currently on leave from the troubled ride-hailing startup.

Here’s what you need to know about the meeting:

  • One of the more controversial items on the agenda will be the H-1B program, which Trump’s team has said is used by Silicon Valey to import cheap labor while cutting job opportunities for U.S. citizens.
  • CEOs and other top tech leaders from 18 companies are expected to attend, including Apple’s Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, along with VC Peter Thiel with Founders Fund and Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent Alphabet.
  • While the CEOs have agreed to sit down with Trump, the tension could be palpable: Trump upset a number of tech titans recently when he pulled the U.S. out of the Paris  agreement, drawing public criticism from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and outgoing General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt.
  • Various reports suggest that Cook, for one, will bring up four issues during the meeting, including immigration’s impact on the tech workforce, the importance of protecting strong encryption, improving services for veterans and making sure human rights remains a top-of-mind focus for the Trump administration.
  • Trump will solicit ideas from Adobe, IBM, Intel and others on how the federal government can use tech in smarter ways to cut costs; the White House reportedly believes that it can use technology to cut a trillion dollars from the government budget over the next 10 years.
  • The tech council is being skippered by Jared Kushner, the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law.
  • Monday’s meeting is the kickoff of so-called “tech week,” a series of meetings with the tech community that will take place this week and throughout the entire month of June.
  • Recode reported that on June 22 the White House will host a meeting with another group of experts who’ll focus on drones, driverless cars and the 5G wireless technologies that power the “Internet of Things;” that meeting is being organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the White House’s leading research arm, which has sent out invites to 30 companies, including Amazon, Google and Intel.

Here are some of the other CEOs slated to attend:

  • Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard
  • Zachary Bookman, CEO of OpenGov
  • Safra Catz, co-chief executive of Oracle
  • John Doerr, chairman of Kleiner Perkins
  • Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware
  • Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir
  • Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel
  • Tom Leighton, CEO of Akamai
  • Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP
  • Steven Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm
  • Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe
  • Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM
  • Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture


Photo: Left to right, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and President-elect Donald Trump during a meeting of technology executives at Trump Tower, Dec. 14, 2016 in New York City. Another tech meeting is happening Monday at the White House. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


Tags: , , , , , , ,


Share this Post