High Tech Execs Have President-Elect Obama's Ear - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // Team Building & Staffing

High Tech Execs Have President-Elect Obama's Ear

Members of Obama's Transition Economic Advisory Board include the leaders of Xerox, Time Warner, and Google.

In the absence of official appointments by President-elect Barack Obama, a scan of the lineup of his official supporters reveals three heads of high-tech companies who could be get the president's ear and who could be destined for bigger things in the new administration.

They are Anne Mulcahy, chairman and chief executive of Xerox; Richard Parsons, board chairman of Time Warner; and Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Google. All three are members of Obama's Transition Economic Advisory Board.

Schmidt has already spoken out about a possible appointment as chief technology officer in an Obama administration: He doesn't want it.

Schmidt said his support of Obama had been thoroughly discussed at Google and he decided to go public with it because so many CEOs had publicly endorsed Republican presidential candidate John McCain. (McCain's campaign was actively supported by former CEOs Carly Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard and Meg Whitman of eBay.)

Schmidt did, however, have some advice for the incoming Obama administration: Launch a stimulus program that rewards renewable energy sources.

Mulcahy, who rescued Xerox from near bankruptcy in 2002, could be well-positioned to serve in an Obama administration, because the company recently named a new president who is considered to be being groomed to take over the top spot some day. With the country facing an economic meltdown, Mulcahy's experience in plucking Xerox out of a financial abyss, a microcosm of the problems facing the nation today, could be valuable.

Parsons, too, is positioned to leave Time Warner, which includes AOL and Time Warner cable interests. He shares a Hawaii background with Obama, having attended college there before eventually joining the staff of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in New York.

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