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Company News

More tech executives than tech critics on Biden's transition team

WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Far more executives from technology companies than outspoken tech critics were named to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team on Tuesday, offering clues on who will decide on filling key roles and ultimately influence his administration’s thinking in coming years.

Tech companies have been trying to strengthen their relationship with a future Biden administration to ensure they have a voice in an onslaught of federal and state investigations of their business practices.

For example, Amazon.com Inc’s Tom Sullivan, an international tax director, will be part of Biden’s group reviewing appointments to the Department of State. Similarly, Mark Schwartz from Amazon Web Services - the cloud computing arm of the company - will be making decisions for the key Office of Management and Budget.

Similarly, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn’s senior director for North America policy, Nicole Isaac, is part of the team deciding appointments at the Department of Treasury.

By contrast, tech critics such as Gene Kimmelman, senior adviser with Public Knowledge, found a spot on the review team for the Department of Justice and Sarah Miller from the American Economic Liberties Project was chosen for the group weighing in on decisions about appointments at the Department of Treasury.

Executives from Big Tech-linked philanthropies such as the Chan-Zuckerberg initiative, funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation from Microsoft founder Bill Gates also will participate in decision-making for the Executive Office of the President and The International Development team, respectively.

Executives from relatively smaller tech companies such as AirBnB, Uber, Lyft, and Stripe also found their way into these agency review groups.

The companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Nandita Bose, David Shepardson and Diane Bartz in Washington and Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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