💡 Silicon Valley sees Joe Biden as an opportunity
With antitrust cases swirling and new regulations imminent, the tech industry -- as well as tech reformers -- have a lot riding on the next four years. Both are trying to build influence with Biden.
Tech insiders are off to a good head start: As Recode details, they were among the biggest contributors to Biden’s campaign and will likely try to build off relationships built during the Obama administration. Jessica Hertz, a former GC at Facebook, was named to Biden’s transition team.
The process of wooing the president: Biden campaign staffers have reached out to tech industry stalwarts, while lobbyists have reached out to Biden’s campaign. Those with the best chances appear to be tech insiders who served on his tech advisory committee. Recode reports they have been asked to apply for positions in the Biden administration.
Eric Schmidt is in the running: The former Google CEO may be picked to run a new technology industry taskforce. Meg Whitman, Laurene Powell Jobs and Andrew Yang have also been listed as possibilities for the White House.
Beware a techlash
Given all the lawsuits and bots and election controversies, tech is not embraced the same way as during Obama. Biden has already caught flak for the rumors about Schmidt.
Some leaders in the tech industry fear the activist-led crusades against tech -- from the left and right -- may keep Big Tech out of the White House entirely.
It may be hard to remember, but Hillary Clinton was rumored to favor Sheryl Sandberg for secretary of the treasury if she had won. That kind of tech influence will not happen under Biden. But even anti-tech activists concede the industry will at least play a moderate role on Biden’s team.