Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said a Donald Trump presidency would do more than hurt his company, the tech industry, and the U.S. economy. Donald Trump in the White House would cause “massive worldwide instability,” Lawson told VentureBeat in an interview today.
“Oh Jesus, just the instability, the massive worldwide instability that a Trump presidency would [cause would] be bad for every business in the United States. The creditworthiness of America would likely diminish, the security situations would probably diminish, closing borders to trade would have negative repercussions on everybody. Some of the technology things he’s proposed around encryption are not feasible,” Lawson said. “The way he talks about what a Trump presidency would look like is that it would be closer to a fascist style of leadership.”
On June 23, Twilio became a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the first major tech IPO of 2016. Lawson, who owns 10 percent of Twilio, might be someone who could benefit from Trump’s tax plan. Instead, he argues that a Trump presidency would harm Twilio and its communications platform business because Trump’s proposed surveillance of citizens would negatively affect the trust people place in American companies.
“Foreign companies have to trust American vendors with their data. We already have an uphill battle with that trust [without] a xenophobic, close-the-borders, isolationist president. Any policy of hate of discrimination of xenophobia is wrong for this country,” he said.
Last month, Lawson joined more than 140 tech engineers, entrepreneurs, and investors by signing a letter voicing opposition to a Trump presidency. Other signees include leaders of companies like Box, Betaworks, Google, Tinder, and Reddit.
“Donald Trump articulates few policies beyond erratic and contradictory pronouncements. His reckless disregard for our legal and political institutions threatens to upend what attracts companies to start and scale in America,” the letter said.