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Tech CEOs Rail Against Trump's Travel Ban

Dan Jones
1/30/2017

It looks like the rose is off the bloom for US tech CEOs' brief honeymoon with the Trump administration.

The CEOs of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Facebook , Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Twitter Inc. all issued statements on Friday and over the weekend condemning President's Trump temporary travel ban affecting seven Muslim-majority countries.

The executive order on Friday stops visa holders from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days. It also bars all refugee admissions for 120 days -- and Syrian refugees indefinitely.

The swiftness of the order caused chaos for people already in transit and spurred protests at JFK and other airports across the US. Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) won a temporary stay against the order on Friday night.

"Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do," Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a memo to staff. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, of course, was the son of a Syrian immigrant.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai ordered Google employees home after the order -- more than 100 Google employees were affected -- the company said. "It's painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues," the CEO wrote in a memo acquired by Bloomberg.

"As an immigrant and as a CEO, I've both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote in a LinkedIn post. Seventy-six Microsoft employees were immediately affected by the order.

Many others in Silicon Valley also spoke up.

The tech tensions over the temporary travel ban come several weeks after executives from some of the same companies met with the then president-elect at Trump Towers. (See Trump Promises Tech Execs 'Easier' Trade Conditions.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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DanJones
DanJones
1/31/2017 | 12:38:41 PM
Re: Mark Zuckerberg in 2020
Kanye 2020!
DanJones
DanJones
1/31/2017 | 12:37:48 PM
Re: Any in favor?
true that!
mendyk
mendyk
1/30/2017 | 11:59:55 AM
Re: Mark Zuckerberg in 2020
MZ seems to be smarter than that. But you never know.
mendyk
mendyk
1/30/2017 | 11:56:32 AM
Re: Any in favor?
Peter Thiel doesn't seem to have a problem with it.
TV Monitor
TV Monitor
1/30/2017 | 11:48:36 AM
Mark Zuckerberg in 2020
It won't be long before Mark Zuckerberg announces his intention to run for president in 2020, along with other billionaires.

If Trump could do it, then why not me, the reasoning go.
mendyk
mendyk
1/30/2017 | 11:41:55 AM
Re: good to see response
Us vs. Them. Us vs. us. We had a good run.
alanbreznick
alanbreznick
1/30/2017 | 11:24:22 AM
Re: good to see response
How about suing the government over the issue?
DanJones
DanJones
1/30/2017 | 10:36:55 AM
Re: good to see response
I don't know what they could do other than fund organizations like the ACLU. Lyft donated $1M over the weekend.
DanJones
DanJones
1/30/2017 | 10:32:06 AM
Re: Any in favor?
I looked, I couldn't find any on this issue. Although the Uber CEO is getting publicly dinged for being a Trump advisor. Plenty like the idea of a lower corporate tax rate though.
alanbreznick
alanbreznick
1/30/2017 | 9:53:50 AM
good to see response
It's good to see the tech community start to weign in strongly on Trump' executive order. Will be interesting to see if Trump, Steve Bannon and crew pay any attention. What will Silicon Valley do if they don't?  
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