Rumors Abound as MS CEO Absent from Obama Tech Dinner

Dennis Faas's picture

Last week US President Barack Obama met with several big tech names, including Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, at a much-talked about dinner party in Silicon Valley.

The point of the get-together was to discuss current technological innovations and how can they could improve the sliding United States economy. (Source:

One would think that a dinner meeting of such big names in the tech field would also include Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, but it did not.

Ballmer Not the Only Odd-Man-Out

The fact that Steve Ballmer was not at the table of elites has received some serious flak on tech blogs around the world. (Source:

Insiders speculate that it has something to do with Microsoft's flagging presence in the search engine and Internet browser markets as reasons for Ballmer not being there, but it's also possible that the influential CEO simply couldn't make it. Thus far, no one seems to know why Ballmer was not present, but rumors are abound and the Internet is full of speculation.

There were other notable missing in action, too, including Intel CEO Paul Otellini there, for one.

Steve Jobs Health Arouses Speculation

Surprisingly, just two pictures have emerged from the big talk, one showing Mark Zuckerberg chatting with Obama and another displaying all of the guests gathered round the table.

Several industry insiders have focused on the way Apple's chief looked in the second photo. Jobs, who sat next to Obama and recently stepped out of the limelight due to health issues, was reportedly shot deliberately from the back.

Recent photographs from the National Enquirer -- a newspaper known to stretch the truth using wild headlines -- have shown Jobs outside a California cancer center looking quite frail. (Source:

Although Zuckerberg and Jobs sat right next to Obama (leading some to suggest they were the favorites), Google CEO Eric Schmidt is most likely the closest of the group to the Democrat President. Schmidt currently serves on Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

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