Obama talks innovation with 12 top tech leaders

Smart phones off, Facebook, Apple, Twitter heads break bread

They weren't tweeting or posting on Facebook.

Why were some of the best users of mobile devices essentially disconnected from the cyberspace Thursday evening?

Because the 12 high-tech leaders were breaking bread with President Barack Obama in a private residence in northern California's Woodside section of the Bay area.  But there could be another reason, according to Cecilia Kang of the Washington Post's Pots Tech column


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Although near to Silicon Valley's bustling tech-mecca Menlo Park, Woodside is a forest-like neighborhood and is infamous for its lack of cell phone service, writes Kang. 

This dinner was no social networking event. The press was not invited.

The closed-door meeting was held at the dinner table of John Doerr, a partner at a venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield  & Byers. A discussion of innovation initiatives was on the menu, according to White House officials, reports the Post. Some of the initiatives he has promised include tax credits for research and development, patent system reform and high-speed wireless Internet across the nation.

It seems the best place cards went to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who was seated on the president's right, and Apple's Steve Jobs, on his left, as seen in a White House photo.

"The president specifically discussed his proposals to invest in research and development and expand incentives for companies to grow and hire, along with his goal of doubling exports over five years to support millions of American jobs," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a readout to pool reporters.

Other CEOs at the dinner included Google's Eric Schmidt, Cisco's John Chambers, Oracle's Larry Ellison, Netflix's Reed Hastings, Yahoo's Carol Carol Bartz and Twitter's Dick Costello.

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Credit: Pete Souza

About the Author

Alysha Sideman is the online content producer for Washington Technology.

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