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“Trump would be a disaster for innovation”: An open letter from Silicon Valley leaders

AP Photo/Cliff Owen
“Reckless disregard.”
  • Alison Griswold
By Alison Griswold


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Peter Thiel may be speaking at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week, when Donald Trump is expected to be officially coronated as the party’s nominee for president, but far more Silicon Valley leaders are taking an unambiguous stance against Trump.

Nearly 150 founders, investors, and other tech executives signed a letter published on Medium today (July 14) concluding that Trump “would be a disaster for innovation.”

“His vision stands against the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy — and that provide the foundation for innovation and growth.”

The signatories include Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack; Ev Williams, Twitter co-founder and Medium founder and CEO; Aaron Levie, CEO of Box; Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio; David Karp, CEO of Tumblr; Hunter Walk, a partner at venture capital firm Homebrew; and Chris Sacca, another well-known venture capitalist.

Trump, they write, “is openly hostile to immigration” and “proposes ‘shutting down’ parts of the Internet as a security strategy.” His policies are “erratic and contradictory” and his “reckless disregard for our legal and political institutions threatens to upend what attracts companies to start and scale in America.”

Silicon Valley’s opposition to Trump has grown more fervent as the 2016 election nears. Last month, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich canceled a planned fundraiser for Trump after his event invite drew scathing criticism from other techies. In late May, Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, told CNBC that she would “under no circumstances” support Trump.

Thiel, the billionaire investor and PayPal cofounder, remains the most vocal supporter of Trump from within the Valley. Thiel has long held outspoken libertarian views.

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