June 1, 2017

The Great Tech Exodus Continues



Well it’s official: Elon Musk has officially parted ways with the Trump Administration.

In a tweet from today, Mr. Musk announced his intention to depart from White House advisory councils. Yesterday, Musk had tweeted that although he wasn’t sure “which way Paris would go,” he’d done all he could to advise the White House and the President to remain in the accords. And so Musk has become the latest in a slew of technology industry executives to exit Mr. Trump’s circle of advisers.

In early February, Mr. Musk announced that his association with the Administration was an effort to “provide advice” and engage “on critical issues” that “will on balance serve the greater good.” That statement was a response to critics who lambasted him for failing to resign from the Presidential Advisory Forum in the wake of the President’s executive order on immigration. As I wrote at the time:

Unless the Trump Administration seriously reconsiders many of its recent policy decisions, the Silicon Valley crowd will likely continue peeling away from any public perception of complicity with the President’s agenda. Mr. Kalanick was the first to disengage, but he will not be the last. In the meantime, here’s hoping Mr. Musk—no stranger to attempting the seemingly impossible—can help sway the Administration’s policy priorities.

Unfortunately, Mr. Musk’s ability to conquer commercial space, develop mass-market electric vehicles, and plot humanity’s colonization of the solar system are trifling child’s play compared to convincing Mr. Trump to embrace the realities of climate change. For a man who has spent a lifetime betting on the impossible, and proving critics of his pursuits wrong at every turn, it seems he may have finally met his match.

With Mr. Musk’s departure from presidential earshot, the White House has lost a valuable perspective from a leader in the technology industry. One can only wonder who will be the next to take the long walk of “techxodus.”