Who Are The People At Obama’s Tech Dinner?

Who Are The People At Obama’s Tech Dinner?

Here it is again – the photo from President Obama’s dinner with tech titans last night. Featuring a sadly sick and frail Steve Jobs, a young Mark Zuckerberg on the rise, and Eric Schmidt in his last weeks as Google CEO, it is an already iconic image of an era.

Who are the people in this photo? Why are they at this table? What is their story?

Eric Schmidt is the soon-to-depart CEO Google.

He’s a long time Obama supporter, having even stood on stage with him a few times at the White House.

Total individual political contributions since 2008: $US72,300[imgclear]

Biotech leader Art Levinson lobbied for Obama’s healthcare reforms

It went something like: “I see this bill as an exciting opportunity to create the kind of jobs we so desperately need in this country, while at the same time improving the lives of all Americans.”

Total individual political contributions since 2008: $US250[imgclear]

Economists hang on John Chambers’s every word

Total political contributions since 2008: $US17,200[imgclear]

John Doerr invested in Google and Amazon back when they were startups

KP almost missed out on the latest wave of Valley companies and is currently paying big dollars for smaller percentages of the area’s biggest hits, such as Zynga and Twitter.

KP would love for the government to legalize online gambling, so social games maker Zynga could really make some hay.

Total political contributions since 2008: $US3,000[imgclear]

Larry Ellison is the real-life Tony Stark from Iron Man

Oracle is another tech infrastructure firm. It’s much less interesting than Ellison himself, one of the more infamous characters out in the Valley – known for his huge boats, fiery leadership, fast cars, and friendships with many women. Yes, he is the real life inspiration for the movie version of Iron Man’s Tony Stark.

Total political contributions since 2008: $US50,000[imgclear]

Reed Hastings is the CEO of Netflix who proves that IPOs aren’t evil

Obama is more concerned with unemployment than the performance of the markets right now, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t love for more successful Silicon Valley companies to follow Netflix’s lead and try out public markets.

Total political contributions since 2008:$44,800[imgclear]

John Hennessy runs the world’s best and most business-friendly engineering school

The meal last night was about the economy and business. No engineering school in the country is so comfortable with the business community as Stanford. Professors will happily introduce brilliant students to venture capitalists – and make a buck in the process. That’s how Google got its start, for example.

Total political contributions since 2008: $US4,800[imgclear]

Carol Bartz has good timing

Total individual political contributions since 2008: $US5,000[imgclear]

Forget revolutions, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo wants to make a buck

By contrast, the company that makes CityVille and FarmVille will generate more than $US1 billion in 2011. Twitter cofounder Ev Williams stepped down as CEO in 2010 because of this slow business growth. Costolo, who sold a company to Google for $US100 million last decade, was brought in to fix the that problem.[imgclear]

Mark Zuckerberg will be a force for the next 50 years

Zuckerberg is turning into a philanthropist. He promised to donate $US100 million to Newark’s schools and he’s signed Warren Buffet’s pledge to donate half of his wealth.

Facebook will IPO next year, but Mark Zuckerberg is positioned to maintain control of the company for as long as he wants. It could be 50 years or more.

Total political contributions since 2008: $US500[imgclear]

The world is not ready to lose Steve Jobs

He possesses both the imagination needed to dream up products like the iPhone and the leadership skills to make sure such a product comes into existence up to his perfectionist standards.

He is very sick, and the world is not ready to lose him, so it’s very sad.[imgclear]

Steve Westly embodies the hopes and dreams of green tech’s true believers

Total political contributions since 2008: $US106,650[imgclear]

We think this is Marissa Mayer of Google

Total political contributions since 2008: $US66,800[imgclear]

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza