Silicon Valley execs call possible Trump presidency 'disaster for innovation'

Open letter includes heads of Apple, Twitter, Tumblr, eBay, Wikipedia
By Janko Roettgers
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 07/25/2016
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Dozens of Silicon Valley executives took a stand against Donald Trump's presidential campaign in an open letter Thursday, calling a possible Trump presidency "a disaster for innovation." Notable signers of the open letter include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams, Tumblr founder David Karp, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and IAC chairman Barry Diller.

"We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field. Donald Trump does not," the letter reads. "He campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline."

The open letter goes on to argue that Trump's stance on immigration doesn't square with the fact that innovation is often driven by immigrants. "40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children," it states. "Donald Trump, meanwhile, traffics in ethnic and racial stereotypes, repeatedly insults women, and is openly hostile to immigration."

The letter also attacks Trump's proposals to shut down parts of the internet in response to threats of terrorism, and concludes that the presumptive Republican nominee doesn't have a clear strategy to foster scientific research and innovation. "Donald Trump articulates few policies beyond erratic and contradictory pronouncements. His reckless disregard for our legal and political institutions threatens to upend what attracts companies to start and scale in America," it states.

Signers of the letter also include the CEOs of companies like TaskRabbit, Betaworks, Meetup, Bitly, Twilio, Instacart and Yelp as well as well-known venture capitalists including Chris Sacca and Vinod Khosla.

Notably absent are any current Google or Apple employees. Google has come under fire from critics for its decision to be a media sponsor to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week, which it will live stream on YouTube. Apple decided to withhold its support for the event despite having sponsored it in the past.

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