Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

Summary:If the goals are to support entrepreneurship, increase exports and get the American people back to work, I could think of a few tech executives who should be invited to Obama's tech meeting in San Francisco.

President Obama's attendee list for a technology and innovation powwow leaves a lot to be desired.

If the goals are to support entrepreneurship, increase exports and get the American people back to work, I could think of a few tech executives who should be invited to Obama's tech meeting in San Francisco.

Via the LA Times, the local invites include:

  • John Doerr, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Carol Bartz, president and CEO, Yahoo!
  • John Chambers, CEO and chairman, Cisco Systems
  • Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter
  • Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO, Oracle
  • Reed Hastings, CEO, NetFlix
  • John Hennessy, president, Stanford University
  • Steve Jobs, chairman and CEO, Apple
  • Art Levinson, chairman and former CEO, Genentech
  • Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google
  • Steve Westly, managing partner and founder, Westly Group
  • Mark Zuckerberg, founder, president and CEO, Facebook

That list is fine as far as it goes, but it seems a bit glam and even includes an exec (Bartz) that is still cutting American workers. For a more substantial discussion, Obama should have invited the following:

  • Sam Palmisano, CEO of IBM: All Big Blue did this week was advance artificial intelligence and capture the imagination of the American people as Watson played Jeopardy. And oh by the way, IBM employs a lot of people. Costolo from Twitter? Not nearly as many people employed.
  • Leo Apotheker, CEO of HP: HP also can put a lot of people to work and innovates too. I'd put Apotheker at Ellison's table just for giggles.
  • Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon: Obama clearly has his Web 2.0 goggles on. Bezos happens to have this cloud-friendly business called Amazon Web Services that enables a lot of entrepreneurs to launch infrastructure on the cheap.
  • Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. Ballmer takes his lumps, but surely has a few ideas about how to make the U.S. more innovative. Alternate: Bill Gates.
  • Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com. You want cloud? Benioff is Captain Cloud. Besides, he's another one to put at Ellison's table. Proposed seating order: Benioff, Ellison, Apotheker.

You could add more to the invite list, but those aforementioned five tech honchos are glaring omissions.

Topics: IBM, Browser, CXO

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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