Top Tech Executives to Meet Trump to Talk Jobs, Regulations

Features Dow Jones Newswires

About a dozen prominent tech executives will meet with President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday in a high-profile summit that could help set the tone for relations between Silicon Valley and a president it views warily.

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The attendee list for the meeting in Trump Tower in New York is a Who's Who of tech: Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook, Amazon.com Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella, Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk, and both the CEO and chairman of Google parent Alphabet Inc., Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, people familiar with the plans said. The CEOs of Intel Corp., International Business Machines Corp., Oracle Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and Palantir Technologies Inc. are also expected to attend, the people said.

At the meeting, scheduled for 2 p.m. (1900 GMT), Mr. Trump is expected to emphasize job creation and making government more efficient, according to a person familiar with the agenda.

Tech lobbyists, lawyers and analysts say the companies' principal goal is preserving the status quo. The past eight years under President Barack Obama have been an era of tremendous growth and record profits for Silicon Valley, aided by favorable federal policies, such as free trade, relatively weak antitrust enforcement and net neutrality, a policy that requires internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.

But Mr. Trump and his team have hinted at changes that worry many big tech firms, such as trade restrictions, stricter immigration policy and tougher antitrust enforcement.

The jobs discussion could also put the tech giants on the defensive. Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook are five of the nation's seven most-valuable companies and together employ roughly 600,000 workers. But they employ fewer people--particularly in the U.S.--than many less-valuable firms. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for instance, employs 1.5 million people in the U.S. alone. Mr. Trump has criticized Apple, among others, for making nearly all of its products overseas.

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Wednesday's meeting will be brokered by billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel and Mr. Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner. Their presence could help smooth relations between Mr. Trump and tech companies he has scolded.

Mr. Thiel--among the few prominent tech titans who backed Mr. Trump--was the first outside investor in Facebook and is now a board member there. He is a former business partner and friend of Mr. Musk. He could serve as an advocate for the tech industry, particularly on subjects like entrepreneurism and antitrust enforcement.

Mr. Kushner and his wife, Mr. Trump's daughter Ivanka, have also sought counsel in tech circles on how the administration can work with the industry, according to people familiar with the matter.

Write to Jack Nicas at jack.nicas@wsj.com and Rolfe Winkler at rolfe.winkler@wsj.com