Google CEO Says ‘No Thanks’ to Obama CTO Job

11 Nov Google CEO Says ‘No Thanks’ to Obama CTO Job

Internet News, CA, By Kenneth Corbin, November 10, 2008
Google CEO Eric Schmidt has removed his name from the list of candidates for the job of government CTO that President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to create. Appearing on the CNBC’s show “Mad Money with Jim Cramer,” Schmidt, who is serving as an economic adviser for Obama, told the host that he would not take the job if it were offered to him. “I love working at Google, and I’m happy at Google, so the answer is no,” Schmidt said. If Schmidt is to be taken at his word, that removes one of the top contenders for a position that — when announced by Obama in his campaign platform — sent a clear signal to many observers that technology would be a top priority in his administration. It remains unclear exactly what form the job will take. In his technology plan, Obama said that the CTO’s mission would be to “ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century.” But Obama has also outlined an ambitious technology agenda, pledging to codify Net neutrality, improve broadband deployment, shore up online privacy and tackle a host of other issues, raising the question of how much of a role the CTO would play in shaping the administration’s policy decisions. “I think the real issue is whether the person is going to be focusing on being a CTO or is it going to be a policy position,” said Lawrence Spiwak, president of the Phoenix Group, a Washington think tank focused on economic and telecommunications policy