As Tesla Motors Inc.’s (TSLA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Elon Musk and other tech sector leaders publicly criticize President Donald Trump’s recent decisions regarding climate change and immigration, in many cases threatening or announcing plans to quit their positions on business councils, other CEOs say that not showing up to the first major meeting of the newly formed American Technology Council would do more harm than good. (See also: Facebook, Apple, Google, Big Business Leaders Urge Trump to Stick to Climate Accord.)

Summit to Focus on Modernization

Leaders from 18 of the world’s top tech corporations -- including Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) Tim Cook, Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Satya Nadella, Inc.’s (AMZN) Jeff Bezos, Oracle Corp.’s (ORCL) Co-CEO Safra Catz and International Business Machines Corp.’s (IBM) CEO Ginni Rometty -- are set to gather at the White House on Monday to meet with Trump and his senior advisers in a brainstorming session intended to help modernize the federal government. Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, along with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who is on a leave of absence, and Inc.’s (CRM) Marc Benioff, citing a scheduling conflict, will not participate.

Silicon Valley tech titan Tim Cook says the worst case scenario is if leaders don’t show up. “Then you’re quiet ... this doesn’t do your case any good, or your point of view any good,” said Cook in an interview with CNBC. Cook reflects the sentiment that allowing the Trump administration to make decisions without hearing directly from the tech sector presents a greater risk than anything. On the other hand, many, including Musk, have given up hope that their view will be taken into consideration, whether they are present or not.

The summit’s agenda will focus on issues including big data, fraud detection cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and cloud computing as the government seeks to reduce the more than $80 billion it shells out per year on information technology. Senior White House officials have called the current systems outdated and inefficient. The group will also discuss Trump’s plans to slash the high-skilled worker H-1B visa program. (See also: Tesla's Elon Musk Delivers Trump an Ultimatum.)

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