Tim Cook sent a letter to Apple employees calling for unity, and quoting the advice of Martin Luther King Jr. “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” The letter does not mention Trump directly. Over the course of his campaign, Trump has directly threatened harsh measures on Apple, including forcing the company to manufacture the phones on American soil.
Speaking on Apple refusing to cooperate with law enforcement officials in unlocking a device, Trump called for a boycott of Apple products. “Boycott Apple until such time as they give that information. It just occurred to me” Trump had said during his campaign. Later on, Trump Tweeted that he would personally only use his Samsung device till Apple handed over the information.
The letter by Cook is an effort to ease the anxiety of employees, where he asks the employees to help each other out. Indirectly addressing the rhetoric used by Trump over the course of his presidential campaign, Cook wrote “Our company is open to all, and we celebrate the diversity of our team here in the United States and around the world — regardless of what they look like, where they come from, how they worship or who they love.” A copy of the letter is available with Buzzfeed.
The sentiments were echoed by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, who responded to the Trump victory by saying “Our commitment to our mission and values are steadfast, and in particular fostering a diverse and inclusive culture.” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, had posted an open letter on Medium, that said “I firmly believe that whether you’re building a company or leading a country, a diverse mix of voices and backgrounds and experiences leads to better discussions, better decisions, and better outcomes for everyone.”
A Trump win could have serious repercussions on technology companies. Tim Cook had held a fundraiser to help support the Clinton campaign. Tim Cook seems to be more anti-Trump than pro-Hillary because he had earlier hosted a fundraiser for Republican candidate Bernie Sanders. Silicon Valley executives apparently had a secret meeting on an Island where they discussed plans to stop Trump from winning the presidency. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google co-founder Larry Page, Sean Parker, and Elon Musk CEO of SpaceX and Tesla were at the meeting.
Silicon Valley had collectively rolled its eyes after Trump warned of a bubble in the technology sector. Trump claims that the unicorn companies, startups with a valuation of over a billion dollars, are overvalued and are attracting investments while not being profitable. Silicon Valley collectively rejected this warning. Tech CEOs including Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai, Steve Wozniak, Pierre Omidyar, Meg Whitman and Marc Benioff all openly supported Clinton in the lead up to the election. Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist and Palmer Luckey of Oculus stood out for their open support for Trump.