Who Should Be the U.S.A. Chief Technology Officer?

by: Mark Hendrickson

BusinessWeek discusses Obama’s plan to appoint a cabinet-level Chief Technology Officer for the United States if elected. The CTO would mainly spend his or her time trying to get broadband internet access into more homes (currently, only about 23 out of every 100 Americans have such access, putting the country as a whole at a lousy 15th place among nations). The CTO would also lead a new, $50-billion-dollar venture capital fund for the advancement of green tech.

The names that BusinessWeek floats as potential candidates for the position include Vint Cerf, the chief internet evangelist for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG); Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT); Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN); and Ed Felten, computer science professor at Princeton. Obama’s current campaign advisor Julius Genachowski is also in the running having worked as an executive for IAC (IACI). Lawrence Lessig gets a nod, too, and recognizes the potential importance of such a position; but he has signaled that he’s not interested in filling it.

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