New York Times
By Pui-Wing Tam
June 20, 2017
A bunch of top technology executives and investors visited the White House on Monday. What unfolded?
Among the highlights: Peter Thiel, a Facebook investor and a supporter of President Trump, praised the president and his administration for “doing well.” Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, urged Mr. Trump to think about artificial intelligence. And Mr. Trump joked about how he had created $3.5 trillion in market value since the election.
Those were among the scenes from Monday’s event, writes Cecilia Kang, a technology reporter for The New York Times.
The White House meeting was being closely watched for the Trump administration’s ability to gather tech industry titans, even though some have objected to the president’s immigration and climate policies. During Mr. Trump’s transition period before he assumed office, he gathered many tech chief executives together for a visit to Trump Tower, which turned into a photo-op spectacle.
But that was before Mr. Trump tried enacting a travel ban against some majority Muslim nations and before he announced that he would be pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord. Even so, White House officials said there was no reluctance by executives or investors to participate in Monday’s meeting, which was aimed at discussing how to upgrade government technology.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor and associate dean at the Yale School of Management, summed up the pros and cons facing tech executives and investors attending the event.
“This is a double-edged sword for the tech C.E.O.s because they don’t want to be window dressing and used for photo ops,” he said. “But on the other side, this is the most business-friendly administration since Eisenhower and is much more open than any administration to influence on the spot.”
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