Tesla CEO To Join Trump’s High-Profile Tech Meeting


Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, plans to attend President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting of tech-industry executives to be held in New York on Wednesday, says The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter. Musk is a close associate of Peter Thiel, a tech investor and entrepreneur who backed Trump during his campaign.

Tesla CEO’s business most dependent on government

Thiel sits on Trump’s transition team and is helping organize the meeting on Wednesday. PayPal has both Thiel and Musk as its founders, while Thiel’s venture capital firm, Founders Fund, backs SpaceX.

The dependence of the Tesla CEO’s various businesses on government support is higher than it is for other tech companies. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the single largest customer of SpaceX. It secured contracts for delivering cargo worth more than $6.5 billion and to deliver U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station.

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Also the company is making efforts to secure additional contracts from the U.S. Air Force worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years, says the WSJ. Tesla also benefits from government tax credits, which helping it lower the effective price of its vehicles.

Several biggies still missing

On Saturday, it was reported that other tech executives attending Wednesday’s meeting will be Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook and the CEO and chairman of Google parent Alphabet, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt. There are reports that the CEOs of Intel, Oracle, IBM and Cisco Systems are also expected to attend the meeting.

The list does include many big names in the corporate world, but so far, some prominent names are also missing. The most prominent of them is Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, whose platform is said to have played an important role in Trump’s victory. Next is Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, who was targeted by Trump’s team after the Post’s tough coverage of his presidential campaign, notes CNN.

Silicon Valley believes that Trump will be bad for innovation. As many as 145 tech leaders signed an open letter against Trump, including Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, IAC’s Barry Diller, Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

With the intent of slamming Trump, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman even came out with a card game, while Sam Altman, who heads up elite Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator, compared Trump to Hitler.

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