Execs at the world’s biggest tech companies express “grave concerns” over Trump’s Muslim ban

Sundar Pichai, Google's chief executive.

Powerful tech leaders have joined the calls against US President Donald Trump’s executive order to stop people from seven Muslim-majority nations entering the country.

In what’s been coined the “Muslim ban”, American citizens including employees at leading tech companies from Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Syria – where Steve Jobs’ father is from – would be stopped from returning to the US.

Google chief calls ban “painful”

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai says more than 100 people on their team would be affected by the order, Bloomberg News reports.

“It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues,” said Pichai in a memo provided to Bloomberg News.

“We’ve always made our view on immigration issues known publicly and will continue to do so.”

Microsoft offers legal support to affected staff

Shortly after Trump’s announcement of the order, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said:

“As an immigrant and as a CEO, I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world. We will continue to advocate on this important topic,” said Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella on LinkedIn.

He also shared a letter emailed to Microsoft employees offering legal support to all affected.

Read more: Satya Nadella on our world’s future – “Trust is the new currency”

Former Microsoft Australia and New Zealand managing director Pip Marlow hit Twitter to voice her concerns while others used the hashtag #immigrantexcellence to shift the damaging profiling of immigrants under Trump’s presidency.

Uber executives divided as protests intensify

Meanwhile, Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick’s apparent support of the Trump administration sparked protests at its headquarters, but a leaked email and insider allegations reveal the company is deeply divided on the issue, Business Insider reports.

Adding to Uber’s troubles was a call to boycott the app while its rival Lyft responded to Trump’s executive order with a vow to donate $1 million to a civil rights group fighting the ban, Gizmodo reports.

According to Business Insider, Uber chief technology officer Thuan Pham called Trump a “deplorable person” in an email.

“It is absolutely illogical and insane to believe that we can solve the hardest diplomatic, policy, and societal problems by putting in charge a person who doesn’t know much about any such thing,” wrote Pham.

“How can we sleep peaceful at night for the next 4 years knowing that the biggest societal problems rests on his lack of intellectual curiosity, judgment and temperament? It is indeed terrifying! This is an emperor with no clothe [sic], and things will get very ugly before his reign is over.”

His stance sits in stark contrast to Kalanick, who has been fending off criticism for cooperating with Trump.

“We’ll partner with anyone in the world as long they’re about making transportation in cities better, creating job opportunities, making it easier to get around, getting pollution out of the air and traffic off the streets” said Kalanick.

Zuckerberg concerned for “millions of undocumented folks”

In a short essay published on his social network, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said both he and partner Priscilla Chan come from families who migrated from countries across Europe and Asia.

“We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat,” he said.

“Expanding the focus of law enforcement beyond people who are real threats would make all Americans less safe by diverting resources, while millions of undocumented folks who don’t pose a threat will live in fear of deportation.

“We should also keep our doors open to refugees and those who need help. That’s who we are. Had we turned away refugees a few decades ago, Priscilla’s family wouldn’t be here today.”

This article was first published by StartupSmart.

Never miss a story: sign up to SmartCompany’s free daily newsletter and find our best stories on TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.


Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

Muslims weren’t banned by Trump. Citizens of several countries with serious, mostly internal, problems have been temporarily banned. Over 90% of the world’s Muslims are free to come and go as before. The rest are on hold for a few months, except for Syria. The list of troubled countries actually was created by Barry’s administration.

Rohan Baker
Rohan Baker
4 years ago
Reply to  wormseye

What? And let fake news be perpetuated unaccounted for? Unquestioningly?

Obama did what Trump did in 2009 for 6 months. He listed the exact same countries on this ban for undocumented muslims. This is for 120 days only – half that amount of time. So just until they can get a handle on how to properly deal with the issue. Documented Muslims are still free to apply for visas to visit/immigrate just as they were under Obama’s order.

But Obama was dreamy and Trump is Hitler.