A Gigantic List of Tech Leaders Just Publicly Slammed Donald Trump

By Sophie Kleeman on at

A lengthy list of Silicon Valley’s top players have signed an open letter slamming Donald Trump’s bigotry and policies, arguing that the radioactive orange slime puddle “would be a disaster for innovation”.

The letter, published on Medium, includes the endorsements of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Tumblr CEO David Karp, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams, billionaire entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar, venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, Slack founder Stewart Butterfield, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, and Arielle Zuckerberg, a partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers and sister to Facebook CEO Mark.

The letter specifically calls out Trump’s “divisive candidacy”, “poor judgment and ignorance about how technology works”, and attitudes toward women, immigrants, and people of colour. It argues that his approach runs counter to “the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy”. There’s not much in the way of specific policy callouts, but the letter does criticise Trump’s giant wall and plans for deportations and profiling.

A sampling:

We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field. Donald Trump does not. He campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline. We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation. His vision stands against the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy — and that provide the foundation for innovation and growth.

Let’s start with the human talent that drives innovation forward. We believe that America’s diversity is our strength. Great ideas come from all parts of society, and we should champion that broad-based creative potential. We also believe that progressive immigration policies help us attract and retain some of the brightest minds on earth — scientists, entrepreneurs, and creators. In fact, 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. Donald Trump, meanwhile, traffics in ethnic and racial stereotypes, repeatedly insults women, and is openly hostile to immigration. He has promised a wall, mass deportations, and profiling.

And here’s the full list of signees, along with their titles:

Marvin Ammori, General Counsel, Hyperloop One

Adrian Aoun, Founder/CEO, Forward

Greg Badros, Founder, Prepared Mind Innovations; Former Engineering VP, Facebook

Clayton Banks, Co-Founder, Silicon Harlem

Phin Barnes, Partner, First Round Capital

Niti Bashambu, Chief Analytics Officer, IAC Applications

John Battelle, Founder/CEO, NewCo, Inc.

Ayah Bdeir, Founder/CEO, Little Bits

Piraye Beim, Founder/CEO, Celmatix

Marc Bodnick, Co-Founder, Elevation Partners

John Borthwick, Founder/CEO, Betaworks

Matt Brezina, Co-Founder, Sincerely and Xobni

Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO, TaskRabbit

Brad Burnham, Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures

Stewart Butterfield, Co-Founder/CEO, Slack

Troy Carter, Founder/CEO, Atom Factory

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Founder/CEO, Joyus

Vint Cerf, Internet Pioneer

Amy Chang, Founder/CEO, Accompany

Aneesh Chopra, President, NavHealth; Former US CTO

Patrick Chung, General Partner, Xfund

Tod Cohen, General Counsel, StubHub

Stephen DeBerry, Founder/Managing Partner, Bronze Investments

Peter Diamandis, Entrepreneur; Author, Abundance and BOLD

Barry Diller, Chairman, Expedia and IAC

Esther Dyson, Executive Founder, Way to Wellville; Investor

Amy Errett, Founder/CEO, Madison Reed

Caterina Fake, Founder/CEO, Findery; Co-Founder, Flickr

Christopher Farmer, Founder/CEO, SignalFire

Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group; Co-Founder, Techstars

Josh Felser, Co-Founder, Freestyle Capital & ClimateX

Hajj Flemings, Founder/CEO, Brand Camp University

Natalie Foster, Co-Founder, Peers

David Grain, Founder/Managing Partner, Grain Management, LLC

Brad Hargreaves, Founder/CEO, Common

Donna Harris, Co-Founder/Co-CEO, 1776

Scott Heiferman, Co-Founder/CEO, Meetup

David Hornik, General Partner, August Capital

Terry Howerton, CEO, TechNexus

Reed Hundt, Former Chair, FCC

Minnie Ingersoll, COO, Shift Technologies

Sami Inkinen, Founder/CEO, Virta Health; Co-Founder, Trulia

Craig Isakow, Head of Revenue, Shift Technologies

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., President and Founder, Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Irwin Jacobs, Founding Chairman/CEO Emeritus, Qualcomm Inc

Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman, Qualcomm Inc

Leila Janah, Founder/CEO, Sama & Laxmi

Sujay Jaswa, Former CFO, Dropbox; Founder, Witt Capital Partners

Mark Josephson, CEO, Bitly

Sep Kamvar, Professor, MIT

David Karp, Founder/CEO, Tumblr

Jed Katz, Managing Director, Javelin Venture Partners

Kim Keenan, President/CEO, Multicultural Media, Telecom & Internet Council

Ben Keighran, Entrepreneur; Former Design Lead, Apple

William Kennard, Former Chair, FCC

Vinod Khosla, Founder, Khosla Ventures; Co-Founder, SUN Microsystems

Ron Klain, Executive Vice President, Revolution LLC

Walter Kortschak, Former Managing Partner and Senior Advisor, Summit Partners

Jared Kopf, Founder AdRoll, HomeRun, Worldly

Joseph Kopser, Co-Founder, Ridescout

Karen Kornbluh, Former US Ambassador, OECD

Othman Laraki, Co-Founder/President, Color Genomics

Miles Lasater, Serial Entrepreneur

Jeff Lawson, CEO, Twilio

Aileen Lee, Founder/Managing Partner, Cowboy Ventures

Bobby Lent, Managing Partner, Hillsven Capital

Aaron Levie, Co-Founder/CEO, Box

John Lilly, Partner, Greylock Partners

Bruce Lincoln, Co-Founder, Silicon Harlem

Ruth Livier, President, Livier Productions, Inc.

Mark Lloyd, Professor of Communication, University of Southern California — Annenberg School

Luther Lowe, VP of Public Policy, Yelp

Nancy Lublin, Founder/CEO, Crisis Text Line

Kanyi Maqubela, Partner, Collaborative Fund

Jonathan Matus, Founder/CEO, Zendrive

Josh McFarland, Vice President of Product, Twitter

Andrew McLaughlin, Head of New Business, Medium; Venture Partner, betaworks

Shishir Mehrotra, Entrepreneur & former VP of Product & Engineering, YouTube

Apoorva Mehta, Founder/CEO, Instacart

Doug Merritt, CEO, Splunk

Dinesh Moorjani, Founder/CEO, Hatch Labs; Co-Founder, Tinder

Brit Morin, Founder/CEO, Brit + Co

Dave Morin, Entrepreneur; Partner, Slow Ventures

Dustin Moskovitz, Co-Founder, Asana; Co-Founder, Facebook

Amanda Moskowitz, Founder/CEO, Stacklist

Alex Nogales, President/CEO, National Hispanic Media Coalition

Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder, Reddit

Mike Olson, Founder/Chairman/CSO, Cloudera

Pierre Omidyar, Founder, eBay

Felix W. Ortiz III, Founder/Chairman/CEO, Viridis; Board Member of The NYC Technology Development Corporation

Jen Pahlka, Founder/Executive Director, Code for America

Barney Pell, Founder Powerset, MoonExpress, Locomobi; Founding Trustee, Singularity University

Mark Pincus, Executive Chairman and Founder, Zynga

Shervin Pishevar, Co-Founder/Managing Director, Sherpa Capital and Co-Founder/Executive Chairman of Hyperloop One

Brandon Pollack, Director of Global Affairs, 1776

Amy Rao, Founder/CEO, Integrated Archive Systems, Inc.

Eric Ries, Entrepreneur & Author, The Lean Startup

Justin Rosenstein, Co-Founder, Asana

Alec Ross, Author, The Industries of the Future

Javier Saade, Venture Capitalist; Former Associate Administrator, SBA

Chris Sacca, Founder/Chairman, Lowercase Capital

Dave Samuel, Co-Founder, Freestyle Capital

Julie Samuels, Executive Director, Tech:NYC

Reshma Saujani, Founder, Girls Who Code

Chris Schroeder, Venture Investor; Author, Startup Rising

Jake Schwartz, Co-Founder/CEO, General Assembly

Robert Scoble, Entrepreneur in Residence and Futurist, Upload VR

Kim Malone Scott, CEO, Candor, Inc; Former Director, Google

Tina Sharkey, Partner, Sherpa Foundry & Sherpa Capital

Clara Shih, Co-Founder/CEO, Hearsay Social

Shivani Siroya, Founder/CEO, InVenture

Steve Smith, Executive Director, Public Policy Institute, Government Relations & Telecommunications Project, Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Jonathan Spalter, Chair, Mobile Future

DeShuna Spencer, CEO, kweliTV

Katie Stanton, CMO, Color Genomics; Former VP of Global Media, Twitter

Jenny Stefanotti, Co-Founder, OneProject; Board of Directors, Ushahidi

Debby Sterling, Founder/CEO, Goldiblox

Seth Sternberg, Co-Founder/CEO, Honor

Margaret Stewart, Vice President of Product Design, Facebook

Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp

Michael Stoppelman, SVP, Engineering, Yelp

Baratunde Thurston, Former supervising producer, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah; Co-Founder, Cultivated Wit

Stephanie Tilenius, Founder/CEO, Vida Health; Board of Directors, Seagate Technology

Richard D. Titus, Entrepreneur; SVP, Samsung

Anne Toth, VP of Policy & Compliance, Slack

Bill Trenchard, Partner, First Round Capital

April Underwood, VP of Product, Slack

Max Ventilla, Founder/CEO, AltSchool

Tabreez Verjee, Co-Founder/Partner Uprising; Board Director Kiva.org

Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia

Hunter Walk, Partner, Homebrew VC; Former Director of Product Management, Google

Tristan Walker, Founder/CEO, Walker & Company Brands, Inc.; Founder/Chairman, Code 2040

Ari Wallach, CEO, Synthesis Corp.

Padmasree Warrior, CEO, NextEV USA; Former CTSO, Cisco

Laura Weidman Powers, Co-Founder/CEO, Code2040

Kevin Weil, Head of Product, Instagram

Phil Weiser, Hatfield Professor of Law, University of Colorado and Executive Director of the Silicon Flatirons Center

Daniel J. Weitzner, Principal Research Scientist, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Emily White, Entrepreneur; Former COO, Snapchat

Ev Williams, Founder/CEO, Medium; Co-Founder Twitter, Blogger

Monique Woodward, Venture Partner, 500 Startups

Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder, Apple

Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University

Andrew Yang, Founder/CEO, Venture for America

Arielle Zuckerberg, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Though the list includes some big names, perhaps the biggest names in tech — Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer, and Jack Dorsey, for example — are notably absent. [Medium]