President-elect Donald Trump has cast a wide net when it comes to his advisors that now reportedly includes Travis Kalanick, the chief executive of Uber, and Elon Musk, the head of Tesla.
According to a report in the Washington Post that cited Trump officials, both CEOs will meet often with Trump and provide expertise to Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum. The new appointments come on the heels of a meeting between Trump and technology executives on Wednesday (Dec. 14.). In addition to Kalanick and Musk, executives from Apple, Facebook, Google and other tech companies are expected to be present at the meeting. It’s the first time Trump is meeting with the leaders of an industry. Kalanick of Uber was invited but was traveling so couldn’t attend the historic meeting.
Both Musk and Kalanick have been critical of Trump leading up to his victory, with Musk being the most vocal in his criticism of Trump as president. During the election, there was a contentious push-and-pull between Trump and Silicon Valley. The majority of tech leaders have been at odds with Trump since the beginning — largely due to the Trump campaign’s messages about limiting free trade and its staunch anti-immigration stance — with the notable exception of PayPal Cofounder Peter Thiel.
Now that the reality of a Trump administration has finally started to settle in, it appears many in the industry are looking to build bridges where they can rather than burn them for the next four years. Among the attendees, according to the Wall Street Journal, are Apple’s Tim Cook, Alphabet’s Larry Page, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and representatives from IBM, Oracle and Cisco, among others. It’s unclear whether or not Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also will attend, although he reportedly received an invitation.