Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who recently took a medical leave of absence from his company, and Google chief executive Eric Schmidt will be among the attendees of President Obama’s event with business leaders in San Francisco Thursday evening, according to the ABC News.
“The president and the business leaders will discuss our shared goal of promoting American innovation, and discuss his commitment to new investments in research and development, education and clean energy,” a White House official said.
According to the official White House schedule, President Obama is scheduled to arrive in San Francisco at 5:45pm local time tonight. He will then meet “with business leaders in technology and innovation” at an undisclosed private residence.
Earlier today, ABC News reported that one attendee would be 26-year-old founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, according to a source familiar with the meeting.
Jobs, Schmidt and Zuckerberg will be among many business leaders in technology and innovation the president will sit down and talk to, as he continues to sell his State of the Union message.
Steve Jobs has been the subject of tabloid rumors and rampant speculation about his health since announcing last month that was taking a medical leave for undisclosed reasons. Check the latest rumors about him: Steve Jobs Has ’6 Weeks to Live,’ but We Don’t Believe in It.
On Tuesday, Schmidt said Google was “very, very proud” of cyberactivist Wael Ghonim, a young executive at the company who emerged as a leading voice of the Egyptian uprising. Eric Schmidt himself will step down in April as Google co-founder Larry Page becomes new Goolge CEO.
Ghonim, Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, administered a Facebook page that helped spark the uprising.
The 30-year-old also appeared in an emotional television interview shortly after he was released from police custody after 12 days that is credited with re-energizing the movement just as it seemed to be losing steam.
In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Ghonim said the protests which led to Mubarak’s ouster would not have happened without online social networks.
“If there was no social networks it would have never been sparked,” he said. “Because the whole thing before the revolution was the most critical thing. Without Facebook, without Twitter, without Google, without You Tube, this would have never happened.”
Google’s Schmidt, meanwhile, was in Barcelona on Tuesday to deliver a keynote at Mobile World Congress, and traveled to Berlin yesterday to unveil Google One Pass, a service on which publishers can sell their content, at their own prices.
Though Zuckerberg was not at Mobile World Congress, Facebook has had a secondhand presence at the show, with HTC and INQ both unveiling two “Facebook phones.”
The HTC phones – the ChaCha and the Salsa – have dedicated Facebook buttons that will take you directly to the social-networking site, while the INQ devices – the INQ Cloud Touch and INQ Cloud Q – have Facebook integrated into every application on the phone.
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who was recently named chairman of the new White House Council on Jobs and Competititveness, will also be there, ABC said.
Obama delivered a very tech-heavy State of the Union address last month, during which he said the first step toward economic recovery is to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.
That speech included a pledge to provide 98 percent of Americans with access to next-generation wireless technology in the next five years. President Obama also unveiled a plan intended to make that a reality earlier this month. [via ABC News and Google]