Tech icons pan Trump as 'innovation disaster'

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia attends the Viva Technology event in Paris.
Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia attends the Viva Technology event in Paris.PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO • Tech icons branded presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump an "innovation disaster" in an open letter signed by leaders of some of the industry's biggest companies.

The letter arguing against a Trump presidency was published on the Huffington Post website on Thursday with nearly 150 names, such as Internet pioneer Vint Cerf and founders of Apple, Wikipedia, Yelp and Reddit.

"We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field," the letter said. "Donald Trump does not."

Backers of the letter described themselves as inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, researchers and business leaders in the tech sector.

They stressed that they were expressing personal opinions and not speaking for any company or group.

They said Mr Trump's vision is at odds with the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people and productive engagement with the outside world that help innovation thrive.

"We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we've concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation," the letter said.

Names on the endorsement list included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2016, with the headline 'Tech icons pan Trump as 'innovation disaster''. Print Edition | Subscribe