Tech-industry leaders including Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and's Jeff Bezos met with Donald Trump on Wednesday, seeking to persuade a man whose presidential bid many of them opposed to avoid policies that would hurt their companies.

"I'm here to help you folks do well," Trump told the executives as the meeting began.

"We want you to keep going with the incredible innovation. Anything we can do to help this go on, we will be there for you," the president-elect said. "You'll call my people, you'll call me. We have no formal chain of command around here."

The CEOs around the table in a 25th-floor conference room at Trump Tower in New York included Apple's Tim Cook, Alphabet's Larry Page, Google's Eric Schmidt, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Tesla's Elon Musk, IBM's Ginni Rometty, Oracle's Safra Catz, and Cisco Systems' Chuck Robbins.

Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, attended instead of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is one of many tech executives who have expressed misgivings about Trump's pledge to deport millions of immigrants in the country illegally.

Reporters were allowed to witness only the first moments of the meeting.

Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, a frequent target of Trump complaints about campaign coverage, said he was "super-excited about the possibility of innovation," a comment echoed by several others.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence wrote on Twitter that the summit was "productive" and focused on job creation and innovation.

Trump has a prickly relationship with the industry. He differs with many tech CEOs on immigration, internet security and regulation, and government investment. Last summer, more than 140 tech-industry executives published an open letter denouncing his candidacy and declaring that he "would be a disaster for innovation."

Trump has promised to unwind the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement President Obama negotiated with 11 other Pacific Rim nations. Trump also said he would seek to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"This is a very important meeting," Catz said beforehand. "Better trade deals are tremendously important to us. We are net exporters. Over 60 percent of our sales are overseas. So better trade deals are very much in our interest."

Trump told the tech executives that he would make "fair trade deals. We're going to make it a lot easier for you to trade across borders."

He announced Wednesday that Kalanick and Musk would join Rometty on his advisory Strategic and Policy Forum.

Employees of internet companies donated more than 10 times as much money to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign than to Trump - $5.6 million compared with $54,472, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

During his campaign, Trump criticized U.S. corporations for moving jobs to other countries, and since his election, he has threatened "consequences" for companies that send work offshore.

Earlier in the year, he said he would aim to get Apple to make its products in the United States. Moving that work to the U.S. from China would likely increase the cost of iPhones and iPads.

Some tech companies made what appeared to be preemptive moves ahead of the meeting. IBM's Rometty unveiled a plan to hire about 25,000 people in the U.S. over the next four years. Apple may back a $100 billion technology fund that aims to invest about half the money in the U.S. and has pledged to create 50,000 new domestic jobs.

Associated Press contributed to this article.