Tech industry: Donald Trump, ‘a disaster for innovation’

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CIOL Donald Trump, ‘a disaster for innovation’ : Tech industry

Tech titans had maintained a conspicuous silence during the primary season on the subject of the presidential race and its controversial Republican nominee, Donald Trump. Barring a few jibes, not much was expressed in terms of opinion for him. But seems like Trump’s time is up now. After netting minimal donations from the Silicon Valley, industry leaders have come all guns blazing against Republican contender denouncing him in an open letter as “a disaster for innovation.”


“We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation. His vision stands against the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy — and that provide the foundation for innovation and growth,” says the letter signed by an impressive list of executives from Slack, Twilio, Yelp, Reddit, Twitter, and more.

The letter that was published on Thursday indicted Trump over his proposed immigration policies, bombastic comments about race and religion, and his repeated insults against women. They said Trump has a “reckless disregard for our legal and political institutions” and has “poor judgment and ignorance about how technology works.”

The letter reads: “We stand against Donald Trump’s divisive candidacy and want a candidate who embraces the ideals that built America’s technology industry: freedom of expression, openness to newcomers, equality of opportunity, public investments in research and infrastructure, and respect for the rule of law.”


The group of CEOs, investors, and policy advisors which includes names like former Twitter executive and Obama administration employee Katie Jacobs Stanton, Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield, former US chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra, IAC chairman Barry Diller, Qualcomm chairman Paul Jacobs, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Twilio’s CEO Jeff Lawson, Box CEO Aaron Levie, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, argue that immigration drives entrepreneurship, noting that 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies are founded by immigrants and the children of immigrants. “We believe that America’s diversity is our strength,” the letter says.

Although the open letter is signed by nearly 150 people, signatures from top executives from leading Silicon Valley companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple are missing.

The absence of Google and Facebook leaders from the letter is likely driven by the companies’ desires to remain neutral on political events. Despite Zuckerberg’s veiled criticism of Trump during F8 conference, Facebook remains a sponsor of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Google is also chipping in sponsorship dollars to the RNC.