Apple CEO Steve Jobs decided there was no way he was going to miss the private dinner and most likely his last with President Obama, if indeed a report by The National Enquirer that Steve Jobs may have just six weeks to live is true. The US tech get-together dinner was held with the aim of discussing technological innovation and how it could possibly boost the US economy.
Among the 12 of the country’s leading technology executives who were invited for the meeting with Obama were CEOs including Apple’s Steve Jobs, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, outgoing Google’ Eric Schmidt, Yahoo’s Carol Bartz, Cisco Systems’ John Chambers, Twitter’s Dick Costolo, and NetFlix’s Reed Hastings. Surprisingly Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and founder Bill Gates were not (invited?) for the dinner.
One photo of the dinner, which was held at venture capitalist John Doerr’s home, offers a glimpse into the seating arrangement for the evening, as well as of Jobs, who is currently on medical leave. Interestingly, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, were seated directly to Obama’s left and right, respectively. In the photo released by White House, Jobs has his back to the camera and it’s unclear how frail he looks. Anyway, both Jobs and Zuckerberg got the best seats.
After the meeting, which lasted more than two hours, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama discussed his proposals to spend on research and development and to expand incentives for companies to grow and hire. The president also talked about his goal of doubling exports within five years to help create jobs, his plans for spending on education and a new initiative to support small business and start-up companies.
Another photo released on Flickr from the White House, President Obama was seen having a conversation with Zuckerberg. If you were to let your imagination run wild, it seems Google’s Eric Schmidt was wondering (in the photo) why Obama put so much emphasis on Facebook to the extent that Zuckerberg was given one of the prime seats. Heck, Facebook isn’t a real company by Washington standard. And Schmidt is surely mad that the White House chose to release that particular photo to the public.
The nine companies represented at the dinner have a combined worth of $938 billion and the list of the tech guests included:
- Steve Jobs, the C.E.O. of Apple;
- Eric Schmidt, the chairman and C.E.O. of Google;
- Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and C.E.O. of Facebook;
- Carol Bartz, president and C.E.O., Yahoo;
- John Chambers, C.E.O. and chairman, Cisco Systems;
- Dick Costolo, C.E.O., Twitter;
- Larry Ellison, co-founder and C.E.O., Oracle;
- Reed Hastings, C.E.O., NetFlix;
- John Hennessy, president of Stanford University;
- Art Levinson, chairman and former C.E.O., Genentech;
- Steve Westly, managing partner and founder, the Westly Group.
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