Henry Kissinger said it, not me: Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Case in point:
Ringed by tech’s elite, President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday promised to do “anything we can do” to help the industry he often baited during the presidential campaign.
“This is truly an amazing group of people,” Trump said at Trump Tower to kick off a meeting with Silicon Valley’s top leaders. “I want to add that I’m here to help you folks do well.”
A dozen tech A-listers — Apple CEO Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, among them — sat down for the two-hour meeting with the president-elect to discuss jobs, immigration policy, China, cybersecurity and taxes.
Trump told the group that his administration is “going to be here for you. You’ll call my people, you’ll call me. We have no formal chain of command around here.”
He suggested, and tech leaders agreed to, meeting quarterly, according to a person briefed on the meeting.
These are people who for the most part hated Trump’s guts prior to this. They may still hate him—the title of this post was meant to be somewhat sarcastic; I doubt they come anywhere near to loving him. But they certainly seemed eager to be in his presence and pleased to have his ear. After all, people like to be asked what they think about something, and probably the last thing they expected (next to Trump’s becoming president, that is) was to have regular chummy meetings with him.
Not everyone was willing to talk to the press afterward. But some were:
“Trump is our president for the next four years, so the tech community needs to set aside its intellectual arrogance and move forward with him to maintain its preeminence as an industry,” says Vineet Jain, CEO of start-up Egnyte, an enterprise file-sharing and collaboration provider. “He’s a businessman; I don’t think he will do anything to jeopardize (the tech industry).”