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.