Who will be the Chief Technology Officer of the USA? US President-elect Barack Obama has said he’s going to create such an office and there is intense speculation in the US technology industry about who will be appointed to fill it.
John Doerr, partner at venture capitalists Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers, recommends the co-founder and former CTO of Sun, Bill Joy, for the job. Joy is currently a partner at Kleiner Perkins.
Obama has said he intends to spend $150 billion over ten years in renewable energy R&D. Doerr sees renewables as ‘the mother of all markets’ and may see benefits in having a Kleiner point man within the new administration.
So who else could do it? Bill Gates, of course, may have time on his hands, but one of the requirements of the job is to protect the security of .gov sites. So, sorry Bill, you don’t make the grade.
Steve Jobs hasn’t got time on his hands but would be an explosively interesting choice. Steve Wozniak would be a popular, and intriguing, choice. Either Larry Page or Sergey Brin would be magnificently qualified for the job. Gordon Moore is not yet 80 and would probably be the wisest choice of all.
I hope Obama chooses an original thinker. A boring establishment trusty with predictable consensual views would destroy public excitement about technology which a free-thinking, radically-inclined US CTO could generate.