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

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.