As President-Elect Donald Trump's inauguration on January 20th gets closer, Silicon Valley is preparing for the transition of power. We recently reported on last week's high profile meeting of tech executives at Trump Tower, where the attendee list was a who's-who of Silicon Valley. Among those at the discussion was Oracle CEO Safra Catz. One of the lone Trump supporters in Silicon Valley, Catz said she is with Trump and willing to help in any way.
Following the meeting she accepted a position on Trump's transition team. The move has caused some controversy because she intends to remain at Oracle. This was all too much for senior governance executive George Polisner who's been with the company on and off since 1993. He's publicly resigned from his position and released his resignation letter on LinkedIn. Calling Oracle a once great company, the letter is a direct rebuttal to statements made by Trump and Catz. Polisner, speaking to The Guardian, said he is not with Trump and is not here to help him.
Catz arriving for the tech summit at Trump Tower. Photo credit Getty/Brad Barket
Politics aside, resigning such a high profile position in a publicized manner over personal views is a very big statement. Polisner was most upset that Catz has decided to remain at Oracle while on the Trump team, citing a possible conflict of interest. Polisner voiced concerns about Trump using his influence and technology to help concentrate wealth and power.
"It’s a demonstration, a credible action as opposed to an expression of frustration," Polisner said. "Although from a personal economic perspective I’ve probably made better decisions!"
Since his resignation, Polisner has received support from other Oracle employees and those in the technology industry. He plans to focus on using technology as a tool for political discussion particularly among progressives.