Towards the end of 2018, as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Tesla and others were trying to put major scandals behind them, tech executives started talking privately about setting a new tone in 2019. This was the year companies would start talking about great new products and innovation again, going on the offensive rather than the defensive.
If so, the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, one of the world’s biggest stages, was a missed opportunity. Only a few of the smattering of tech executives in attendance—including Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Apple’s Tim Cook and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg—were part of official events. Most were trying to keep a very low profile, there only for key business meetings.