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Trump’s Technology Roundtable to Include Cook, Page, Nadella, and Sandberg

Recode’s Kara Swisher has assembled a thorough list of who was invited, and who will or won’t attend, President-elect Donald Trump’s planned “technology roundtable” this coming Wednesday, December 14th. The meeting, organized in part by Paypal co-founder and Trump backer Peter Thiel, was first reported last week. Few details have emerged about its specific purpose, but given Trump’s troubled relationship with the industry, it’s bound to be interesting.

Tech leaders who plan to attend include: Alphabet CEO Larry Page; Apple CEO Tim Cook; Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella; Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg; Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins; IBM CEO Ginni Rommetty; Intel CEO Brian Krzanich; and Oracle CEO Safra Catz. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is described as likely to attend. The list is not complete, though, and invites have been sent on a rolling basis.

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Several of the leaders on that list clashed with or were attacked by Trump during the presidential campaign. Cook and Page were involved in early discussions of how to stop Trump’s nomination. Trump has battered Apple for manufacturing its phones in China and refusing to provide security backdoors to law enforcement.

Perhaps most dramatically, Bezos engaged in a running battle with Trump throughout the campaign. Trump for a time blacklisted Bezos’ Washington Post from campaign events, and described ownership of the Post as a tax dodge for Bezos. Bezos later described Trump as “eroding our democracy.”

More generally, the tech sector has been strongly opposed to Trump’s stances on immigration, information security, and diversity. Thiel, who is part of Trump’s transition team, faced widespread derision among techies for his support of Trump during the campaign.

Wednesday’s meeting, then, could be a rough one. A similar Trump roundtable with media leaders in November amounted to a vicious scolding by the President-elect.

Recode also assembled a list of leaders who either weren’t invited or will not to attend, including Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, investor Mark Cuban, HP CEO Meg Whitman, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. That list includes some of Trump’s most hostile and persistent critics in the sector.

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Other likely attendees, though, have been more neutral or conciliatory. Catz told Recode that “I plan to tell the President-elect that we are with him and will help in any way we can.” Rometty has already reached out with an advisory letter including support of Trump’s tax reform plans.

And even critics like Bezos and Cook have made nice with Trump since his victory. There are also at least some tech sector priorities that align with Trump’s. So there’s at least an outside chance that the meeting could contribute to a constructive dialogue.

Recode offered one other intriguing note. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who oversees what is easily Trump’s most beloved technology product, told Swisher that he wasn’t sure whether he’d been invited.