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President Trump seems to be actioning his campaign claims to bring a more business-oriented workflow to Washington with the announcement of the new White House Office of American Innovation.
The office will be led by the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and aims to revitalize outdated government processes and technology by bringing in business leaders, academics, and technology leaders together with government agencies. The office’s collaborators include Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Tesla’s Elon Musk, and Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, who has been a staunch Trump critic since the days of the campaign.
“We don’t agree on everything… I’m hopeful that Jared will be collaborative with our industry moving this forward. When I talk to him, he does remind me of a lot of the young, scrappy entrepreneurs that I invest in in their 30s,” Benioff told The Washington Post.
It can be argued that this office is the latest attempt by Trump to marry government with big business. But what’s more clear is that Trump is aiming to bring some of today’s most popular business themes to the Oval Office, including an emphasis on technology and data, the bread-and-butter of Benioff’s company.
With goals around improving training of the American people, and updating the data infrastructure of governmental institutions, Benioff’s customer-centric focus could be instrumental in “Salesforcing” the White House. Indeed, CRM and marketing technology will be essential in meeting the goals this new office is setting for itself.
“The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens,” Kushner told The Washington Post Sunday.
It remains to be seen whether technology leaders can continue to work with Trump without facing backlash from the President’s many detractors.