Obama to meet top Silicon Valley tech executives

Steve Henn Feb 17, 2011
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Obama to meet top Silicon Valley tech executives

Steve Henn Feb 17, 2011
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TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: President Obama flies to the bay area today to talk about job growth with leaders from one sector of the economy that’s actually doing pretty well. High tech.

Let’s get the details now from our Silicon Valley correspondent Steve Henn. Good morning Steve.

STEVE HENN: Good morning.

HOBSON: So tell us who the president is going to be meeting with.

HENN: Well, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, and Steve Jobs from Apple.

HOBSON: Steve, I thought Steve Jobs was out on medical leave.

HENN: He is, but he’s been seen around town, eating at Indian Restaurants, and Mountain View, and recently on campus. So he’s expected to be there tonight.

HOBSON: Now President Obama has been asking a lot of CEOs all across the country to do more hiring. Is that the message he’s going to be bringing to Silicon Valley, which is already doing pretty well, right?

HENN: Yeah, I think he will probably be asking these CEOs what the government can do to spur innovation. You know he might be trying to get their secret sauce — Google and Apple and Facebook have been doing tremendously well, generating a huge amount of wealthy and profits and products people like. But the dirty little secret here is that these companies actually don’t create that many jobs. Google has less than 30,000 employees. Apple has 30,000 employees. Facebook just a few thousand total. Meanwhile, Apple’s biggest contractor in China — Foxconn — has more than a million people working there. So these companies are creating wealth, not jobs here. And in Santa Clara county, the headquarters of all three firms, the unemployment rate is still above 10 percent.

HOBSON: Wow. Marketplace’s Steve Henn in Silicon Valley. Thanks Steve.

HENN: Sure thing.

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