Trump Invites Tech Leaders to Talk After Industry Opposition

  • Chiefs from Oracle and Cisco plan to attend roundtable
  • The gathering is slated to be held in New York next week

The Future of U.S. Tech Under Donald Trump

President-elect Donald Trump invited technology leaders to a discussion next week in New York where Silicon Valley will begin building relationships with an incoming administration it initially distrusted and mostly criticized.

Oracle Corp. Co-Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz, among the business leaders and politicians who met last month with Trump in the days after his election, will attend the technology discussion, according to Oracle. Also, Cisco Systems Inc. Chief Executive Officer Chuck Robbins plans to go.

The meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 14, with the agenda not yet decided, according to a copy of the invitation signed by venture capitalist Peter Thiel, Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.

Technology leaders -- who enjoyed a healthy relationship with President Barack Obama -- often clashed with Trump during the campaign. The president-elect has stirred concerns over his positions on immigration, trade and a proclivity to single out companies for criticism on issues such as hiring or manufacturing.

Big tech companies like Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Netflix Inc. may lose out if Trump and his advisers follow through on rhetoric about limiting visas for overseas tech workers, favoring domestic manufacturing over global supply chains and watering down net neutrality rules. Some of those same companies would also benefit should Trump succeed in cutting taxes on offshore earnings.

A spokesman for Trump’s transition team didn’t return requests seeking comment on the meeting.

Thiel, a Facebook Inc. board member, was one of the few public Trump backers from the tech industry and is a member of his transition team. Some executives of large U.S. technology companies offered conciliatory words after the election and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty was among those named last week by Trump to an economic advisory panel that will begin meeting with him in February.

Facebook, Apple and Alphabet declined to say whether company executives had been invited or would attend. The planned discussion with Trump was reported earlier by USA Today and Politico.

— With assistance by Jennifer Jacobs, and Ian King

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