Most tech industry leaders railed against the Republican, but some are now changing their tune as they consider what his presidency will mean
In the end, it took less than 24 hours for Silicon Valley to start making nice with President-elect Donald Trump.
For a full year, the tech industry had collectively railed against the xenophobic, bigoted, and anti-science tenor of candidate Trump, displaying a political consensus so strong that the only public outlier PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel became the target of a shunning campaign from industry insiders. Even the generally apolitical Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rebuked Trump and his supporters fearful voices talking about building walls.
But on Wednesday night Zuckerberg had a new message. Feeling hopeful, read the tag on a photograph Zuckerberg shared of himself and his infant daughter watching the election returns. In the caption, he wrote that creat[ing] the world we want for our children was bigger than any presidency. The accompanying emoji displayed wide, happy eyes and an eager grin.
Zuckerberg was not alone in his change of tune.
We in the tech community are willing to work with President-Elect Trump to help those Americans who need it most, tweeted venture capitalist and erstwhile Trump critic Chris Sacca. The door is open.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who said in October that Trumps behavior erodes democracy, chimed in with a note of conciliation: Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump. I for one give him my most open mind and wish him great success in his service to the country.
Perhaps Silicon Valley can do business with a businessman in the White House after all.
Trump made various statements during the campaign that suggested a Trump presidency would pose a direct threat at the tech industry. For an industry reliant on immigrant talent, his xenophobia was anathema. He called out Zuckerberg over the industrys hiring of foreign workers on H-1B visas. He told Apple that it would have to build its products in the US, then called for a boycott when the company stood up to the FBI in its quest to force the company to unlock one of the San Bernardino shooters iPhones. He hinted that he might go after Amazon for its growing monopoly in online retail, telling Fox News that Bezos has a huge antitrust problem.
He vehemently opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was supported by a large coalition of tech industry lobbying groups, who wrote in a letter to congressional leaders that the trade deal would keep borders open to the free flow of data, provide a strong and balanced intellectual property framework, prohibit data localization requirements and other barriers to digital trade, and protect trade secrets, among many other benefits.