Top Candidates for Barack Obama's White House CIO Square Off

 
 
By Roy Mark  |  Posted 2008-11-07 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Who's in the running to be Barack Obama's chief technology officer? Who isn't? Leading technology CEOs such as Google's Eric Schmidt, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer have all been mentioned to fill the post, along with former Bill Clinton FCC chiefs Reed Hundt and William Kennard, just to name a few. The most likely frontrunner, though, is Julius Genachowski, the man in charge of selecting the nation's first CTO.

While President-elect Barack Obama meets in Chicago with his transition team, all of tech waits to hear if Obama will name a cabinet-level chief technology officer, as he championed during his campaign for the White House.

InterActiveCorp executive Julius Genachowski and Sonal Shah of Google.org are heading up the search. 

Some of the most prominent names in the mix to become the nation's CTO include:

JULIUS GENACHOWSKI, INTERACTIVECORP

Just because you are heading up the search team doesn't mean you won't end up with the job itself.

Genachoswski is a former adviser to Clinton FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and board member at boards of Expedia, Hotels.com and Ticketmaster before joining Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp. It probably doesn't hurt that Genachowski and Obama were Harvard Law classmates.

ERIC SCHMIDT, CEO/GOOGLE

Will the White House get all Googly? Schmidt is an obvious contender since he publicly stumped for Obama and served as a technology advisor for the president-elect. It would be safe to say Schmidt would not be the first choice of the telecoms that have so dominated Washington over the last eight years.

DONALD GIPS, VP/LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS

As with many of Obama's tech advisors, Gips comes from the Clinton/Gore branch of the Democrats. In the late 1990's, Gips served as Al Gore's chief domestic policy adviser.

BILL JOY, SUN MICROSYSTEMS CO-FOUNDER

The choices of legendary venture capitalist John Doerr. Currently a partner at Doerr's VC firm, Joy co-founded Sun Microsystems.

ED FELTEN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

A prominent professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, Felton is best known as a critic of electronic voting machines. When asked if he would be interested in the CTO slot, Felton said, "Almost anyone would be interested in doing that job."

STEVE BALLMER, CEO/MICROSOFT

"The No. 1 thing we actually need now is to sort of restore a positive sense of optimism," Ballmer said Nov. 6 in Australia. Ballmer claims no one from Obama's team has contacted him about the CTO job but, then again, the position has been open for only three days. Bill Gates? His name hasn't come up.

VINT CERF, GOOGLE EVANGELIST

Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist considered one of the founding fathers of the Internet, got behind the Obama early in the campaign. Cerf said he was attracted to Obama because of his support for network neutrality.

JEFFREY BEZOS, CEO/AMAZON

Bezos could bring not only cutting edge technology ideas like government cloud computing to the White House, but also great discounts on books and DVDs.

REED HUNDT, FORMER FCC CHAIRMAN

A veteran Washington technology insider, the former Clinton FCC chairman often served as an Obama surrogate on IT issues.

WILLIAM KENNARD, FORMER FCC CHAIRMAN

Another Clinton-era FCC chief and prominent Obama surrogate currently serving as managing director at the Carlyle Group.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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