Big Tech rejoiced over Biden's inauguration day promises on immigration and climate change — but Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk were notably silent

  • Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States on Wednesday.
  • Big Tech leaders gave public statements congratulating Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
  • They welcomed Biden's policies on climate change and immigration, in particular.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As Biden was sworn in as President of the United States, Big Tech rejoiced.

Major industry figures, including the CEOs of Apple and Google, congratulated the president, and many welcomed the slew of executive orders Biden started signing on Wednesday, which reversed various policies from former President Donald Trump.

Read more: Biden is making a $10 billion bet that investing in America's cybersecurity and IT infrastructure will help the nation bounce back from COVID

Tech leaders focused on Biden's promises to reform climate change and immigration policy, particularly his executive order protecting people brought to the US illegally as children, sometimes known as "dreamers" — although some major figures, including Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg, stayed notably silent.

Here is how the giants of the tech world reacted to Biden's inauguration:

Bill Gates praised Biden and put climate change top of his list.

"I look forward to working with President @JoeBiden and Vice President @KamalaHarris to tackle some of our toughest challenges like COVID-19 and climate change. This has been a troubling time in America, but I see promise in the months and years ahead," Microsoft founder Bill Gates tweeted.

"The President's commitment to reengage with the world gives me hope that the recovery will reach everyone, including communities of color in the US and people in poor countries around the world," Gates said.

"And while COVID-19 will rightfully continue to dominate the agenda, the United States also has the opportunity to lead the world in avoiding a climate disaster. The President is taking a great first step by rejoining the Paris Climate Accord," he added.

Trump first announced he was withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Accord in 2017, and the formal withdrawal finally happened in November 2020.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai applauded Biden for taking action on COVID-19 relief, climate change, and immigration.

"We applaud @POTUS's quick action on COVID relief, the Paris Climate Accord, and immigration reform," Pichai tweeted.

"Google has supported action on these important issues & we look forward to working with the new administration to help the US recover from the pandemic + grow our economy."

Biden proposed sweeping immigration reforms during his first day in office. This included lifting Trump's travel ban from predominantly Muslim countries including Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Somalia (the ban is often referred to as the "Muslim ban").

Biden also signed an executive order protecting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which offers citizenship to people illegally brought to the US as children — who are sometimes referred to as "dreamers."

Google already expressed public support for this policy, and earlier this month pledged $250,000 to an organisation that helps dreamers settle in the US.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook did the same.

"Congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris on this historic day. Inspired by your vision of unity and your immediate actions on climate change, immigration and COVID-19. One nation, indivisible," Cook tweeted .

In a statement shared with The Verge, Cook praised Biden's immigration reform and DACA in particular.

"We welcome President Biden's commitment to pursuing comprehensive immigration reform that reflects the American values of justice, fairness and dignity. This effort will strengthen American communities and the pathways to opportunity this country has long fostered," he said.

"In the weeks and months to come, business leaders look forward to working with the Administration, as well as Democrats and Republicans in Congress, to achieve bipartisan, practical and comprehensive solutions to fix our broken immigration system, including a permanent solution for Dreamers that includes a path to citizenship," he added.

Netflix's co-CEO Reed Hastings took a shot at Trump.

Rather than congratulating Biden and Harris, Hastings appeared to take a swipe at Trump.

Hastings posted a quotation from Trump's own 2017 inaugural address, in which Trump thanked former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for their "gracious aid" in the peaceful handover of power.

This appears to be a jibe at Trump, who refused to acknowledge Biden's win for months following the outcome of the election.

Hastings was a major donor to the Democratic Party during the election, giving more than $5 million to Democratic PACs.

Salesforce's CEO was full of blessings.

"Congrats President Biden & Vice President Harris! The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you and our nation peace," Salesforce's CEO Marc Benioff tweeted.

 

Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos did not publicly congratulate Biden, although Amazon offered to help with the vaccine rollout.

Bezos' second-in-command and Amazon's head of consumer business Dave Clark sent a letter to Biden on Wednesday shortly after he was sworn in.

"We are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration's vaccination efforts," he wrote.

Although Jack Dorsey didn't personally congratulate Biden, Twitter also praised the president's immigration reform.

"The @POTUS DACA Executive Order signed this evening delivers hope for #Dreamers. Diversity makes the US, our company, and our world better — we'll continue to advocate for policies that support and recognize the important contributions of immigrants," the company tweeted from its official public policy account.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla's CEO Elon Musk did not issue any public statements.

Neither Zuckerberg nor Musk — who at time of writing is the world's richest person — put out any kind of public statement about Biden's swearing in.

It's particularly notable that Musk did not give any statement on the US re-entering the Paris Climate Accord, as the Tesla billionaire quit a White House advisory council in 2017 after President Trump's withdrawal from the agreement.

"Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world," Musk tweeted at the time.

Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg congratulated Vice President Harris on becoming the first woman vice president.

"One day, it won't be so momentous. One day, watching a woman raise her hand and take the oath of office as our vice president won't make me cry," Sandberg wrote in a Facebook post.

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