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Apple CEO and other tech executives meet Obama

posted 18 Feb 2011, 09:33 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 18 Feb 2011, 09:36 ]

U.S. President Barack Obama attends meeting with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and other technology leaders.

U.S. President Barack Obama attended a meeting with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and other technology industry leaders in northern California on Thursday (February 17).

Jobs, a pancreatic cancer survivor, was joined by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google Inc Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and other members of the Silicon Valley elite.

The talks took place at a venture capitalist's sprawling estate outside San Francisco.

Obama's two-day West Coast visit was aimed at promoting technological innovation to help boost the struggling U.S. economy and reduce stubbornly high unemployment -- considered crucial to his 2012 re-election chances.

Obama met with 12 leaders from technology companies and discussed ways to work together to invest in innovation and promote private sector job growth, according to the White House.

The meeting was also part of Obama's efforts to mend fences with the U.S. business community after his Democrats were routed in the November congressional elections, and garner support for a $3.7 trillion budget proposal released this week and already facing stiff Republican resistance.

Jobs, 55, a high-tech visionary who has come to embody Apple's turbulent history and some of the industry's most cutting-edge products, stepped away from the company on medical leave last month. It was the third time in seven years that he has taken time out because of health reasons.

Jobs was not seen by a pool of White House reporters who were kept out of sight of participants at Thursday's working dinner at venture capitalist John Doerr's secluded home in the affluent suburb of Woodside. But a White House official confirmed that all those on the guest list were present.

A photograph released by the White House showed Obama talking with Zuckerberg before the meeting.

The National Enquirer on Thursday published pictures that purported to show Jobs arriving at the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, California.

A spokeswoman for Stanford Hospital declined to comment.

The company has refused to provide any details on Jobs' health, comment on the recent reports or say when he might return from leave.

Shares of Apple closed down 1.3 percent in Thursday's trading.

Other executives attending the meeting with Obama were: Carol Bartz, president of Yahoo!; John Chambers, chairman of Cisco Systems; Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter; Reed Hastings, CEO of NetFlix ; Art Levinson, chairman of Genentech; and Steve Westly, managing partner and founder of The Westly Group.

Obama will wrap up his trip on Friday with a visit to Hillsboro, Oregon, where Intel Corp CEO Paul Otellini will give him a tour of the company's advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility.