Apple Inc chief executive Steve Jobs, on medical leave from the company he co-founded, attended a meeting of technology industry leaders with US President Barack Obama in northern California on Thursday.
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 for talks with Obama at a venture capitalist’s sprawling estate outside San Francisco.
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.
The National Enquirer on Thursday published pictures that purported to show Jobs arriving at the Stanford Cancer Centre in Palo Alto, California.
The company has refused to provide any details on Jobs’ health, comment on the recent reports or say when he might return from leave.
Obama’s two-day West Coast visit was aimed at promoting technological innovation to help boost the struggling US 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, White House press secretary Jay Carney said after the meeting.
“The president specifically discussed his proposals to invest in research and development and expand incentives for companies to grow and hire, along with his goal of doubling exports over five years to support millions of American jobs,” Carney said. “The group also discussed the importance of new investments in education,” he said, adding that Obama expressed a desire to keep the dialogue going.
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.