The CEOs Who Might Be Left to Advise Trump

The last two days for Trump have been shambolic to say the least, so quite in-step with his entire presidency. The disbanding of both the Manufacturing and the Strategic Policy Council in the wake of his ignorant comments on Charlottesville has added another layer of chaos to an administration plagued with rash decisions, careless disregard for facts, and blatant disrespect of anyone who chooses to critcize Trump.

The latest reports claim that the councils had already agreed to leave in a phone call shortly before Trump ran to Twitter like a child to claim it was his sole idea. In a statement from the group they cite that, "the debate over Forum participation has become a distraction from our well-intentioned and sincere desire to air vital policy discussion on how to improve the lives of everday Americans. As such, the President and we are disbanding the Forum." Business Insider reports that the council actually only ever met once, back on February 23.

Technology Council

So who's left? As CEOs drop statements left and right, the Technology Council for all we know is still active. There is a heavy amount of confusion as to who is actually on it, with different outlets reporting different CEOs as being a part of the council or who have just been invited to advisory meetings. While the White House does not disclose the composition of the councils, below is a compiled list of everyone who has been invited in an advisory capacity on technology (disbanded councils notwithstanding) to the White House.

  • Ajay Banga, MasterCard CEO ( MA )- Banga has not publicy released any statement regarding Charlottesville, but has discussed at length the possibility of improved U.S-India relations under Trump and Modi.
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon ( AMZN )- Bezos had met with Trump and other leading technology executives back in June at a tech summit at the White House, but not much has been said since then. However, after the tweets earlier this week from Trump attacking Bezos, Amazon, and the Washington Post (which he owns), it seems rather unlikely he would meet with the group again, although he has not stated anything offically.
  • Zachary Bookman, OpenGov CEO- Cloud-based software provider OpenGov operates with 1300 different federal, state, and city institutions across the country. Its CEO Zachary Bookman would be likely to stay on and advise Trump, since the company is also partly owned by Thrive Capital, a VC firm owned by the Kushners . No public comments about the current events have been made by the company or its executives.
  • Safra Catz, Oracle Co-CEO ( ORCL )- Israel-born Catz nor Oracle have made any public statements.
  • Tim Cook, Apple CEO ( AAPL )- Cook has stated he's not offically on a council but wants to see "America do well", in a statement from June. On August 14 he tweeted , "We've seen the terror of white supremacy & racist violence before. It's a moral issue- an affront to America. We must all stand against it", but did not mention anything regarding his position as an advisor to Trump.
  • John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins Chairman- Chairman to the Silicon Valley technology VC firm , Doerr has not made any public statements regarding his place on the council or current events.
  • Pat Gelsinger, VMware CEO ( VMW )- Neither Gelsinger nor VMware have made any related public comments.
  • Alex Karp, Palantir CEO- No public comments have been made from Karp or Palantir.
  • Tom Leighton, Akamai CEO ( AKAM )- No comment from Leighton or cloud-service company Akamai.
  • Bill McDermott, SAP CEO ( SAP )- McDermott tweeted on August 13 , "Concerned colleagues writing me about Charlottesville. Our company always stands against bigotry in this world. We choose love&reject hate". He did not explicitly state his position as an advisor to Trump however.
  • Steven Mollenkopf, Qualcomm CEO ( QCOM )- No public comments related to the technology council, although his last tweet is from San Diego Pride Parade on July 15.
  • Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO ( MSFT )- No public comments made.
  • Shantanu Narayen, Adobe CEO ( ADBE )- No public comments made.
  • Virginia (Ginny) Rometty, IBM CEO ( IBM )- The New York Times is reporting that Rometty is "outraged" by Trump's response, although no public comment has been made.
  • Eric Schmidt, Alphabet Executive Chairman ( GOOGL )- No public comment has been made.
  • Julie Sweet, Accenture CEO ( ACN )- No public comments made.
  • Peter Thiel, Founders Fund Partners - While some are reporting that Thiel and Trump are on the outs , Thiel has been a very proud supporter of Trump, having donated $1.25MN to his campaign. No public comments have been made however.


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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