Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, said on Facebook, in a personal statement what many in Silicon Valley have been thinking: “Trump's actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all. Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe.”
The US tech investor Sam Altman called on tech leaders to do more to oppose Trump. While there are plenty of actions Trump has already taken that are worth opposing, Altman said yesterday’s executive order on immigration ‘is tantamount to a Muslim ban and requires objection.’”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had already posted on the subject saying: “Like many of you, I’m concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump. We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat. We should also keep our doors open to refugees and those who need help.”
While US Unified communications CEO Michael Tessler (see below) has come out publicly against the ban, there has not been any official comment from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon. The reasons may be simple – each one of them needs to stay on side of Trump since they all need favours in the future from him.
Sprint and T-Mobile are likely to be looking for approval for some form of merger. AT&T is in the middle of attempting to buy Time Warner. Verizon, which has already made several deals, is seen as a potential buyer of a cable company and has a number of other deals up its sleeves, all of which will require regulatory approval.
All four also want to see the Federal Communications Commission reign in general regulation, including the most forceful parts of net neutrality. The telecos have generally praised the Trump administration, especially for its choice of Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure and T-Mobile CEO John Legere have toned down their opposition to Trump since the election. Legere had a few huge battles with Trump, while Claure was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton. However, the day after Trump’s victory, Legere tweeted his congratulations to Trump while Claure told Sprint employees that he was going to give Trump “a fair shot.”
“I pray that he unites our country and continues to make it an even better place for all Americans regardless of their race, their national origin or their religion,” Claure said in an email after the election. All four companies declined to make any comment.
However, Michael Tessler, BroadSoft CEO, has just posted this excoriating message on the company’s blog: “Today, I am frustrated to be an American. The recent executive order from our new president is an outrageous attack against the values of this country.
As many of you know I am the CEO of BroadSoft, a US-based global technology company. We are an American success story and have grown to have employees and customers across the globe. We take our global citizenship very seriously.
I also recently became an American citizen after living in the US for many years. I grew up in Canada; both my parents and my friends' parents were immigrants. I grew up with friends from all nationalities and who spoke different languages. This was just the way it was. We all respected other cultures and learned from each other.
I had the opportunity to move to the USA many years ago to pursue my career. When Scott and I decided to move and make the DC area our home, it was the multicultural aspect of this neighborhood that reminded me of home. My kids have grown up not even realizing that they are going to school with kids that have grown up around the world, with unique culture and languages. When the elementary school had a potluck dinner, it was an amazing diversity of food and culture. I always felt fortunate that my children could grow up with this diversity.
After many years, I decided to become an American citizen and felt equally proud of both my home country of Canada and my adopted home, the USA. However, the last couple of weeks has me worried about the direction that this country is going. With the administration’s current immigration position, we believe that some of our most important values – freedom, openness, diversity and hope – are being challenged.
I am also proud that we serve so many great organizations in so many countries. By visiting with members of the BroadSoft ecosystem, I have learned a lot about your cultures, business practices, and thinking. I want to reassure you that the administration’s recent actions and its tone do not represent the values of BroadSoft or the values of most Americans.
We are publically communicating our perspective and I am optimistic that our concerns will be recognized and addressed in a more constructive manner moving forward.”