Major tech leaders photographed meeting with Obama

updated 12:35 pm EST, Fri February 18, 2011

Jobs, Zuckerberg get prominent seats

Note re Google and Egypt: “Schmidt and Zuckerberg may have special political relevance, as both Google and Facebook have been tied to the revolution that ousted formerly US-backed autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Many of the protests were organized through Facebook, and Google executive Wael Ghonim is said to have orchestrated some efforts himself. Twitter feeds are also known to have helped Egyptians rally together.”

Several major US technology executives have been officially photographed with President Obama at a dinner meeting on Thursday night. As expected, three people on the guest list included Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Jobs and Zuckerberg were notably given the most prominent positions during the dinner, seated directly to the left and right of the President.

Other executives confirmed as attending by Reuters were Yahoo’s Carol Bartz, Cisco’s John Chambers, Twitter’s Dick Costolo, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Stanford University’s John Hennessy, Genentech’s Art Levinson, and the Westly Group’s Steve Westly. The meeting was held at the home of John Doerr, a member of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The main topic was "promoting American innovation," along with Obama administration efforts in education, clean energy and research and development.

Jobs and Chambers may have used the meeting to push for a tax holiday on repatriated cash. Corporations would normally pay a 35 percent tax, but a consortium including Apple, Cisco, Pfizer and Duke Energy have reportedly been lobbying to pay just 5 percent. While potentially aiding private investment, the break would also deprive the US government of critical tax revenue.


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