Facebook's Zuckerberg Among Executives Set to Meet With Obama

By Kate Andersen Brower
(c) 2011 Bloomberg News
Wednesday, February 16, 2011; 3:03 PM

Obama will talk with the executives as he promotes an agenda outlined in the $3.7 trillion budget he released this week to keep up government funding of education and research to assure U.S. economic competitiveness in the future.

The next day he plans to visit Intel Corp.'s Hillsboro, Oregon, campus and tour the company's semiconductor manufacturing facility with Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini.

Tomorrow's meeting with the executives will be private, according to the White House, which hasn't released the names of those who will attend. The person familiar with the meeting spoke on condition of anonymity because the details haven't been made public. Andrew Noyes, Facebook spokesman, would not confirm whether Zuckerberg is meeting with the president.

The president has cited Facebook as an example of innovation that will drive future growth. "We're the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook," he said in his Jan. 25 State of the Union address. "In America, innovation doesn't just change our lives. It is how we make our living."

Facebook, the world's most-used social networking service, is hiring as it attracts more users and advertising revenue. It has grown to more than 2,000 employees from about 1,000 in August 2009, according to its website.

The company has more than 500 million users -- compared with about 250 million in July 2009. Facebook, which isn't publicly traded and doesn't disclose financial information, may have more than doubled its revenue to about $2 billion last year, three people familiar with the matter said in December.

Facebook, along with Google Inc. and Twitter Inc., also increasingly figures in U.S. foreign policy. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed yesterday that the U.S. will step up support for global Internet freedom, as citizens using social networking sites and other areas of the Internet to organize demonstrations spreading across the Mideast and North Africa.

© 2011 bloomberg.com