It looks like Facebook board member Peter Thiel will now have some company in his late-night cram sessions with President-elect Donald Trump. The Washington Post reports that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have both agreed to advise Trump in an official capacity. This marks a stark turnaround for the tech titans, as they had both independently criticized Trump during the presidential campaign.
"I feel a bit stronger that [Trump] is not the right guy," Musk told CNBC in early November. "He doesn't seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States." And that sentiment was shared by Kalanick, who the Post reports joked in October that he was "going to move to China if Donald Trump wins.”
Not so much move to China as spend his free time helping Trump, it seems.
Specifically, The Business Times reports that the two men are joining Trump's economic advisory board. At present, the only other representative from the tech sector on the board is IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. According to the Business Times, the group will "be called upon to meet with the president frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge as the president implements his plan to bring back jobs and Make America Great Again."
Maybe they just want to make sure that Trump's chief White House strategist and senior counselor Steve Bannon, who has implied that too many Asians have power in Silicon Valley, isn't the only one whispering sweet nothings into the future president's ear? Either way, the two men have their work cut out for them, and Trump is surely excited about his own personal help desk — after all, Gizmodo has speculated that he may have never even used a computer before.
But hey, can you really blame Musk and Kalanick? For all we know, they have a very specific endgame that may or may not involve replacing the presidential motorcade with self-driving Ubers.