Jobs, Zuckerberg get prime spots at Obama dinner
Undisclosed medical condition doesn't keep Apple CEO from Silicon Valley dinner
Computerworld - President Obama met with the CEOs of several high-profile technology companies, including Steve Jobs of Apple and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, in a private dinner Thursday night in Silicon Valley.
The dinner was closed to the press, but the White House released a short video clip and a pair of photographs.
In one photo, Jobs and Zuckerberg flanked Obama at the dinner table in the Woodside, Calif. home of venture capitalist John Doerr. In that photo, Jobs' face could not be seen, as he had his back to the camera.
Jobs' appearance has been the matter of intense speculation this week as reports claimed he was looking frail and that he had been spotted at the Stanford Cancer Center, where some claimed he is undergoing treatment.
The Apple CEO has been on medical leave since January, when he announced he was stepping away "so I can focus on my health."
Unlike in 2009, when Jobs took a six-month leave to receive a liver transplant, he did not set a return date last month.
Apple COO Tim Cook has been leading the company in Jobs' absence, as he did in 2009.
Others at the dinner were Cisco CEO John Chambers, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz.
Art Levinson, chairman and former CEO of Genentech, also dined with Obama. Levinson is on the Apple board of directors.
According to the Associated Press, White House press secretary Jay Carney said after the dinner that Obama exchanged ideas with the business leaders "so we can work as partners to promote growth and create good jobs in the United States." Carney also said Obama discussed research and development spending proposals with the CEOs.
Google's Schmidt was seated at one end of the table, Bartz at the other, while Ellison sat across the table from Obama.
Not present at the dinner were big-name technology CEOs including Intel's Paul Otellini, HP's Leo Apotheker and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer. Ballmer, however, met with the president last month and attended a state dinner for visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Obama is slated to meet with Otellini later today when he tours an Intel chip fabrication plant in Hillsboro, Ore.
As of 2:45 p.m. Friday, Apple shares were down $7.48, or 2%, from the opening bell. Some experts have said that renewed talk of Jobs' health -- and Apple's refusal to make public a succession plan -- have contributed to the price decline.
"In many ways, people who have purchased stock in Apple were really buying into the vision, talents and unquestioned leadership of Steve Jobs," said Michael Robinson, who heads the corporate and public affairs practice at Washington, D.C.-based crisis communications company Levick Strategic Communications, in a Thursday blog. "Now, those holding shares in the nation's second most valuable company simply don't know if, or for how long, that leadership will continue to pay dividends."
Robinson said that it's likely investors will pressure the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to craft new rules that would define CEO health issues as "material," and thus require public disclosure.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Obama and tech
- China set to surpass U.S. in R&D spending in 10 years
- Outgoing federal CIO warns of 'an IT cartel'
- @whitehouse takes on Twitter Town Hall
- Obama's CIO quits
- Little new in Obama cybersecurity proposal
- Feds update IT plan following Obama's 'horrible' comment
- Obama's online trusted ID plan greeted with caution
- U.S. Census tech makeover includes 'oasis' for innovation
- Obama seeks big boost in cybersecurity spending
- QuickPoll: Is Obama's 98% 4G broadband coverage goal realistic?
Read more about IT Industry in Computerworld's IT Industry Topic Center.
- Accelerating Cloud Deployment and Operations with Managed Services Companies that do not have sufficient in-house expertise to either deploy or maintain an IaaS cloud should turn to Managed Service Providers .
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- Simplifying Product Design In A Complex World Product design engineering has moved far beyond the confines of ever-more powerful workstations. Companies can't afford to restrict projects to using only local...
- A Reference Architecture for the Internet of Things The aim of this is to provide Architects and Developers of IoT projects with an effective starting point that covers the major requirements...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to... All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!