You might have missed the coverage amid the Internet’s myriad Brexit freakouts, but last Friday, President Obama sat down with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Stanford University during the seventh Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
Obama likes rubbing elbows with tech entrepreneurs. For the last year he’s been making the rounds at conferences like South by Southwest and giving interviews to tech sites like Recode. On his historic trip to Cuba in March, he dedicated an entire day to entrepreneurship, telling the Cuban people that starting their own companies is the way to bring their country forward. At the summit last Friday, he called out the 11 Cuban entrepreneurs in the audience.
To the crowd, he declared, “I believe all of you represent all of the upside, all of the hope, all of the opportunity that that interconnected world represents.”
So it comes as little surprise that Obama is interested in becoming a venture capitalist. (Hey, Al Gore did it!) In an interview last week, Bloomberg asked the President which industries interested him for after he leaves office. He said, “The conversations I have with Silicon Valley and with venture capital pull together my interests in science and organization in a way I find really satisfying.” He likes the wardrobe too—when Zuckerberg took the stage with three other entrepreneurs from different parts of the globe, Obama noted that he couldn’t “wear a T-shirt like Mark yet,” but “in six months…”
Ironically, as Obama practiced his cool VC act in front of a crowd of startup founders, Zuckerberg practiced his elder statesman act, with practiced, sweeping “change the world” statements about empowerment, mission, inspiration, and, of course, connectivity. Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., are coming closer and closer together.
Obama noted that next year’s entrepreneurship summit will be held in India. “I’ll try to stop by if I’m invited,” he said.
BITS AND BYTES
Lyft hires investment bank Qatalyst Partners. The ride-sharing company, which has already raised about $2 billion in funding, is looking for more money—it may even be looking to sell itself, reports The Wall Street Journal. Qatalyst’s role in engineering buyouts is well-known—it was already an adviser on deals worth close to $34 billion this year. Lyft was last valued at $5.5 billion after a big infusion in January that included General Motors. But it has raised barely one-sixth of the funds that archrival Uber has attracted. (Wall Street Journal)
Google could face another antitrust complaint. The European Union is investigating the mechanics behind its advertising services based on criticisms leveled by competitors, reports Bloomberg. The tech giant is already fighting charges related to its shopping search services and its mobile operating system software, Android. (Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal)
Hewlett Packard Enterprise shakes up executive ranks. CEO Meg Whitman has restructured the sales organization. As a result, its chief customer officer, John Hinshaw, will leave before the end of the year. Plus, chief technology officer Martin Fink, the big proponent behind HPE’s next-generation computing architecture dubbed “The Machine,” is retiring in December. That is leading some to question when the technology will see the light of day. (Fortune, Wall Street Journal)
Data centers are losing their reputation as energy hogs. The amount of power consumed by massive banks of computer servers and network equipment—the systems running pretty much every big company—increased just 4% between 2010 and 2014. That’s pretty modest, considering how much Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants have invested in enabling cloud services between then and now. (Fortune)
Airbnb sues San Francisco. The startup isn’t thrilled with a new ordinance passed in early June that requires it to police whether hosts offering apartments or homes through its listing service are registered properly—or face fines. A San Francisco law passed two years ago mandates that residents offering short-term rentals register with the city. Airbnb said the new compliance requirement violates a federal law. (New York Times)
Google CEO Sundar Pichai is latest exec attacked by OurMine. The organization accessed his Twitter and Quora accounts, weeks after targeting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a similar break-in. OurMine says it’s trying to raise awareness about the need for cybersecurity, plus it wouldn’t mind if your company used its services to improve its defenses. (Fortune)
Microsoft and Salesforce tighten ties (again). For their latest trick, the two software giants are introducing technology that synchronizes contact and calendar information between Outlook and the Salesforce marketing and sales applications. The new capability builds on a partnership disclosed two years ago. (Fortune)
Here’s how Citigroup is embracing the ‘fintech revolution.’ What he needed was a SWAT team. The week after being put in charge of Citigroup’s consumer banking business last year, Stephen Bird went to Silicon Valley to meet with venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and other tech luminaries in hopes of gaining insight on how to counter the challenge from “fintech”—the rapidly proliferating class of technology startups bent on disrupting every facet of the traditional financial services business. Together they represent perhaps the No. 1 threat facing large banks today.
It was Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff who gave him the idea, reports Fortune‘s Stephen Gandel. Benioff told Bird that he could never hope to change the culture or operations of a banking behemoth, with $1.8 trillion in assets, all at once. But if he put together an elite group within Citi, one that could operate with startup-like speed and agility, he might just get somewhere. Bird decided that to push big changes inside the company, he would first need to think small. Visit Fortune.com to read Fortune’s story about what happened next.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Fortune Brainstorm Tech adds more big names by Dan Primack
Amazon deepens footprint in online education by Leena Rao
This digital marketing company is the best workplace for millennials
by Jasper Scherer
Former Pixar and DreamWorks animators helped design this adorable robot by Jonathan Vanian
U.S. adults are all about their smartphones and online video streaming by Kia Kokalitcheva
Amazon adds more Dash ordering buttons by John Kell
Quora loses its finance chief by Dan Primack
ONE MORE THING
Google’s modern-day erector set. The tech giant launched Project Bloks, a toy it invented to help children learn the concepts of software programming. (Wired)
This edition of Data Sheet was edited by Heather Clancy.