10 Top Tech Execs Visiting The White House4:00 PM EST Fri. Oct. 05, 2012
Technology executives are spending more time and money in Washington in a bid to win government dollars and influence legislation. The stakes got higher in the midst of the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression and the passage of the $840 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Here is a look at 10 technology executives who have visited the White House, meeting with President Barack Obama and members of his administration from January 2009 through March 2012. The number of meetings, or "entries," is from the White House visitors log via the Washington Post.
For a closer look at how companies are playing the political game, see a preview of our exclusive report, "5 Companies That Milked The Stimulus." The full article will run Monday exclusively in the CRN Tech News app, available now in the Apple App Store.
No. of Entries: 7
Roberts, who was a member of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, has seven entries on the White House visitors log, including meetings with former Assistant to the President For Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers and President Obama's former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee.
Former Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives
No. of Entries: 8
Reicher, who left Google early in 2011 for a post at Stanford University, has eight entries on the White House visitors log, including an April 22, 2010, Earth Day reception. Reicher led the early charge on Google's renewable energy initiatives, which now total some $915 million in investments. Among the Google investments that have received ARRA funds are AltaRock Energy, which was awarded $28 million, and SolarCity Corporation, which has been awarded $11.02 million.
No. of Entries: 9
Chambers, who publicly commended the president for the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness initiative, has nine entries on the White House visitors log, including a CEO luncheon meeting with the president on Feb. 4, 2010. Chambers is a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and was the national co-chair and economic and technology adviser to Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.
Former Chairman, President, CEO
No. of Entries: 11
Palmisano, who stood side by side with the president urging passage of the ARRA, has 11 entries on the White House visitors log, including a July 12, 2011, luncheon meeting with the president. Palmisano told the Obama transition team that a $30 billion stimulus package focused on smart grids, health-care IT and broadband could create more than 900,000 jobs in a year. IBM has been awarded $180.9 million in stimulus funds on 123 awards.
No. of Entries: 12
Sandberg, a member of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, has 12 entries on the White House visitors log, including an April 20, 2011, flight on Air Force One with President Obama, who hosted on that day a "Shared Responsibility and Shared Prosperity" Town Hall at Facebook's offices.
No. of Entries: 13
With Google's aggressive investment in renewable energy initiatives, Schmidt, who was CEO of the search giant from 2001 to 2011, is listed on 13 entries in the White House visitors log, including a Dec. 3, 2009, Jobs and Economics Growth Forum hosted by President Obama. Brightsource Energy, which counts Google among its investors, has received $1.6 billion in loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office.
No. of Entries: 13
Otellini, a member of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, has 13 entries on the White House visitors log including a one-on-one meeting with President Obama on Jan. 28, 2011. Otellini's increased White House engagement came after the Intel CEO blasted the state of affairs in Washington during a dinner speech at the Technology Policy Institute's Aspen Forum in the summer of 2010. "I think this group does not understand what it takes to create jobs," said Otellini at that time. "And I think they're flummoxed by their experiment in Keynesian economics not working."
No. of Entries: 19
Ballmer, who also publicly urged Congress to pass the ARRA, is listed on 19 entries in the White House visitors log, including a CEO lunch on Feb. 4, 2010, and the first state dinner for China in 13 years on Jan. 19, 2011. Microsoft was one of the first to prosper from the ARRA in the form of $11 million in funds awarded to the state of Washington and City of Redmond that were used to build a bridge connecting Microsoft's East campus to its West campus.
No. of Entries: 21
Cote, who stood side by side with the president urging Congress to pass the ARRA, has 21 entries in the White House visitors log including a Super Bowl party at the White House on Feb. 7, 2010. Honeywell has been given $238 million in ARRA funding on 173 awards.
No. of Entries: 27
Immelt, who chaired President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, has 27 entries in the White House visitors log including nine meetings with President Obama and a meeting with the former President's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, on Feb. 17, 2009, the day the president signed the ARRA into law. GE has been given $241 million in ARRA funds on 158 awards.