145 Tech Industry Leaders Blast Trump In Open Letter

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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One hundred and forty-five Silicon Valley leaders, including billionaire investors, CEOs and entrepreneurs, published an open letter Thursday that condemned Trump as a “disaster for innovation.”

The letter states, “We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field. Donald Trump does not.” The letter blasts Trump’s proposition that America is facing serious economic challenges and is on the decline. “He [Donald Trump] campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline,” the leaders asserted in the letter.

Those who signed the letter did so in their personal capacity and not on behalf of their respective organizations. Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, Zynga’s Mark Pincus, Apple’s Steve Wozniak, Emily White from Snapchat, Dinesh Moorjani from Tinder and Hyperloop One’s Shervin Pishevar all signed. Mark Zuckerberg did not sign the letter, but his sister, Arielle Zuckerberg, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, did.

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel is one tech leader who is not only supporting Trump, but will speak at the Republican National Convention. Thiel won’t run into many of his tech industry colleagues while in Cleveland, and according to a June report, just 52 tech workers donated to Trump’s campaign, compared to 33,000 who donated to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and over 2,000 to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

A majority of the top tech leaders are wary of a Trump presidency. Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Technology Association, recently said, “I am constantly talking with tech leaders and CEO’s, and it’s safe to say that Trump supporters are few and far between.”

Republican-leaning leaders in the tech industry have been cautious about supporting Trump, some even going as far as to speak out against his candidacy. Hewlett-Packard CEO and 2010 candidate for California governor Meg Whitman has called Trump “unfit” to be president, while conservative venture capitalist Marc Andreessen pledged to support Clinton if Trump is the GOP nominee.

The letter concludes that, “We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation.”

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