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Google Exec Says No To Obama's CTO Post

Google's Eric Schmidt won't be Obama's CTO, so the tech czar position is still open.

Schmidt's name, along with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Amazon President and CEO Jeff Bezos, has recently been floated for the position of technology czar. However, Schmidt put an end to speculation a couple of days ago when answering a question posed to him by CNBC's Jim Cramer: "I love working at Google and I'm very happy to stay at Google, so the answer is no."

The person in the new cabinet-level position would be charged with exploring how technology could be used and promulgated to create new jobs and restore the U.S.' competitiveness worldwide.

The decision to create the CTO slot has solution providers buzzing. A Capgemini (VARBusiness 500 2008 rank: 6) blog posted by Ron Tolido notes that it sends a clear signal to those corporations that struggle with the role of IT in business.

"This is far from the marginalized position of an IT manager who apathetically reports to the CFO about cost cutting and risk management," Tolido writes. "This is a boardroom position, one that is supposed to create strong impulses for change and growth."

For Schmidt's part, his reluctance to leave Google has not precluded involvement in helping to shape economic policy. Last week, he went to Chicago to serve as part of Obama's 17-person economic transition economic advisory board. The group discussed various ways of dealing with the continuing financial crisis. Like former Vice President Al Gore, Schmidt believes that green technology could be employed to help to revitalize the economy. For example, laid-off autoworkers in Michigan could be put back to work building batteries for use in hybrid vehicles.

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