Tech companies began criticizing President Donald Trump’s travel ban over the weekend, with Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple all issuing statements against it.
And then there’s Dell Technologies.
Chief executive and founder Michael Dell sent a memo to employees on Monday. Here’s what it said:
The Trump travel ban prohibited refugees, visa and green card holders from seven countries from traveling to the United States in a 90-day period. A federal judge has since issued a stay blocking part of this order. But the White House said the ban is still largely in effect.
The tone of the Dell memo is distinctly softer than what other tech companies have told their employees or said publicly. For instance, here’s what Apple had to say:
In my conversations with officials here in Washington this week, I’ve made it clear that Apple believes deeply in the importance of immigration — both to our company and to our nation’s future. Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.
I’ve heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support.”
Dell did not explicitly say his company is opposed to the Trump policy. Here’s what he did say:
We will advocate for immigration reform that supports our business, our customers, our team members, and their families. We believe in creating a global business that harnesses the power of the best and brightest talent regardless of their country of origin. In the interim, we will provide HR, Legal support and resources for any Dell Technologies team member and/or family member who has been affected.”
Michael Dell’s comments on Trump, the economy and immigration put him more in line with the pro-Trump comments coming from non-tech CEOs. Bloomberg news reported that CEOs of companies such as AT&T, Ford Motor Co., and Caterpillar are saying positive things on earnings calls about how a Trump administration might impact their company and the economy.
Michael Dell appears to have a closer relationship with Trump than some other tech CEOs.
For instance, he sits on a manufacturing advisory panel appointed by Trump, along with the CEOs of Ford, 3M and Boeing. He was also recently invited to a White House meeting with Trump.
There’s certainly a political advantage to being an adviser versus a critic.
Dell Technologies employs 140,000 people around the world, has an overseas workforce and operations and stands to be greatly impacted by Trump proposals related to trade, taxes and immigration.
Trump’s relationship to the tech industry was frosty during the campaign season, given that Silicon Valley was generally Team Hillary.
Trump held a meeting with several tech CEOs in mid-December with some of the top tech CEOs to hash out some of their issues. Dell was not at this particular meeting.
This story was updated to correct that Dell sent the memo to employees on Monday, not over the weekend.
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