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

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.

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TOPICS: IBM, Browser, CXO
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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

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

    IBM is a big omission. 4sure.
    tatiGmail
    • No.. IBM was left out on purpose... so was everyone else.

      IBM is still lame... And no one cares what Ballmer has to say...

      This is about bringing players to the table that actually have something to bring. Innovators, not imitators, people with ideas, not Redmond copiers. Ballmer doesn?t have a clue about anything, and neither do Palmisano, Apotheker, Bezos, and Benioff. I?m actually surprised that Obama asked Schmidt to be there. The only thing Schmidt can offer is the advice to copy Apple.
      i8thecat
      • Yes, please use this as an excuse to air your petty gripes.

        @i8thecat.<br>I can see why many of the more respected contributors have left this site.<br><br>And why where you not invited? You seem to believe you are full of insight, I wonder why Mr. Obama did not invite someone of your keen understanding of the tech world.
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

        @i8thecat Yes, we should listen to Zucherberg about how Facebook will save the world by letting people post about their vomit problems after drinking heavily
        mikies
      • agreed

        @i8thecat
        i love mdn's take on the matter:
        "Unless Obama is planning on jumping around screaming and sweating profusely during his next major speech, Uncle Fester can?t offer him anything useful beyond a few laughs. We assume the point of the dinner is to explore ways of increasing productivity, not smothering it to death; to lead the world, not follow others around like a brain-damaged puppy dog. The country?s in enough trouble already. That?s why Steve Ballmer wasn?t invited to Obama?s innovation dinner."
        banned from zdnet
      • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

        @i8thecat
        You're completely off base and repeating a baseless meme about MS not innovating... I hate MS as much as any free software communist and don't like to use their software, but the undeniable reality is you're wrong.

        The iPhone is arguably just a copy of Windows Mobile 6. Do you see what I did there? I used the same argument that you did.

        When any of the companies microsoft "copies" have the enterprise market share that Microsoft has... Then we'll talk. Microsoft continues to innovate and invent in the enterprise, and often sets the standard for what enterprise software should be. What standard do we compare authentication systems to? We compare them to Active Directory. What do we compare Google apps to? Exchange. How many companies use Lotus Notes over exchange? (I'll give you a hint very few). How more companies have OSX Server installed than Windows Server (not many).
        snoop0x7b
      • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

        @i8thecat

        Don't live in the real world, do you?
        notinkeys
      • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

        <br>Microsoft's impact on the job market/economy is HUGE due to it's ecosystem. There are studies that prove that and Obama's omission of Balmer shows he really doesn't understand the tech industry and who creates or can create jobs.<br><br>As for "followers" PLEASE this is the tech industry. Google is clearly trying to come out with their own version of every Microsoft and Apple product. There's a lot of copying going on, but it is CLEARLY not only in Redmond. Why don't you try to think for yourself instead of going along with "group think" as portrayed by the media who is only at the service of pushing Google and Apple stock higher.
        bluemountainb
      • Master Joe Says...Done

        @i8thecat It's incredibly misinformed, ill-informed, or just plain stupid comments like this, and the people who make them that have reduced my interest in ZDNet to reading the articles, and not even bothering to see what kind of ridiculous beyond bias comments are made. From now on, I'll stick to posting the links to my Facebook wall, and making my comments there, and participating in the discussion with some intelligent people I am friends with there. Anyone else who wants to participate in intelligent discussion, and not read rants and raves from people who have no business in the tech industry period, like the post this reply is to above from i8thecat, is welcome to join me.

        --Master Joe
        SteelCityPC
  • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

    Unfortunately, IBM is one of those companies whose main interests include offshoring workers in the US, building facilities outside of the US, and importing labour.

    Apple can't really do much except provide advice on how to stamp out entrepreneurship, such as beating people down with a 30% off-the-top fee for... well, existing.
    RvLeshrac
    • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

      @RvLeshrac <br><br>I don't know, how many people are working in Apple stores across the USA?<br><br>How much do Apple stores revitalise the areas surrounding them?<br><br>That is one part of Apple's business.<br><br>Why don't you take off the Google goggles of ignorance.
      alsobannedfromzdnet
      • Almost 80% of Google's employees don't live in the US

        @alsobannedfromzdnet So what is the issue with Apple??
        wackoae
      • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

        @alsobannedfromzdnet you bring up an interesting point. Apple does employ many people in its stores and has many stores!!!! That must have some measureable positive effect on local economies! I think the same for companies like IBM and Microsoft as well. Nearly every business in America has some version of an MS product or IBM, DELL, or HP server... Looking at the list of invites I find that most of these companies barely compare to the job creating reach you mention! Facebook doesn?t employee many people in my area... I know Google doesn't. Oracle indirectly employs a sizeable number...

        Also, why not Bill Gates (maybe he didn't want to attend)? With all of the education work and civil service the Bill and Malinda Gated Foundation does...!!!???? He could have been a good contributor.
        apetti
      • Funniest thing I read today

        @alsobannedfromzdnet
        "How much do Apple stores revitalise the areas surrounding them?
        That is one part of Apple's business."

        In Chicagoland, the three Apple stores are in Downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue (next to Aberchrombie, Burberry etc), Oak Brook and Naperville.

        Oak Brook and Naperville have median incomes of around $150K. These areas really needed to be revitalized. Especially as Naperville was #2 in the best places to live in America not so long ago. Now they can shoot for #1!!!!
        dazzlingd
      • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

        @alsobannedfromzdnet Working retail is a great aspiration for our children... When my kid grows up I want him to be so privileged as to work in an Apple store. Because working in retail is superior in every way to being an engineer.
        snoop0x7b
      • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

        @alsobannedfromzdnet

        Gotta love Apple Stores.
        http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/news/confessions-of-an-apple-store-employee
        notinkeys
      • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

        @ apetti Gates is focused on saving the world not helping American lead the tech revolution.
        Regulator1956
    • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

      Umm.... actually... Gates is using technology to save the world.... so really he IS leading a tech revolution, but in the non-profit industry.
      bluemountainb
    • RE: Obama's big tech powwow invite list: A few stunning omissions

      @MasterJoe What do I do if I refuse to use Facebook? Talk about Google and their tracking, Facebook has got to be 10X worse. I really hope Facebook doesn't become the only way to interact with people because then I will have no friends :-(
      bvonr@...
  • Getting the American people back to work

    Nothing like inviting a bunch of one world foxes to guard the Yankee chicken coop.

    Nice billionaire club there Larry. Almost all of which got their billions by selling out America. In business school they call it the new enlightenment (stuff the unemployed, underemployed and foreclosed would never understand).
    klumper