Washington Post: Intel, Apple CEOs topped Secretary Raimondo’s meeting lineup in 2021

February 14, 2023 Media

Commerce secretary met with two tech CEOs more than most of Congress

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo met with the CEOs of Intel and Apple more than a half dozen times each in her first year in office — more meetings than with any other business leader and all but a few members of Congress, according to a review of her calendars by The Technology 202.

The findings show the leaders of the world’s largest tech companies had significant access to Raimondo after she was confirmed in 2021 to lead the department, which oversees issues crucial to the industry around U.S. innovation and digital trade.

According to our review, Raimondo met or held calls at least eight times with Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger, seven times with Apple CEO Tim Cook, four times with Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, three times with Microsoft President Brad Smith and twice with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Lori Wallach, who works on digital trade for the American Economic Liberties Project advocacy group, said it isn’t “alarming” for a Commerce secretary to meet with business leaders. But she said the frequency of the sessions relative to those with some policymakers is and could amount to “undue input” from industry.