February 17th, 2011
09:04 AM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – If President Obama had a personal Facebook account, he might be "friending" technology executives to help advance his innovation agenda right about now.
But instead Obama has decided to fly to San Francisco Thursday afternoon to actually meet with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and other tech executives in person to continue the dialogue he promoted in his State of the Union address about government working with the business community to help build American competitiveness.
Zuckerberg, CEO and President of Facebook, will be joined by Eric Schmidt of Google and Steve Jobs of Apple along with other executives at a private residence in the San Francisco area, according to sources familiar with the meeting.
"I think the focus of the discussion is innovation and job creation, and these are representatives of businesses who can - who know a lot about private sector job growth," new White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at his first on-camera briefing on Wednesday.
Obama last met with Jobs in San Francisco in October during the president's campaign swing out West right before the midterm election. White House aides said at the time that during the private meeting at a hotel, Obama and Jobs discussed American competitiveness, education and the Race to the Top initiative, as well as energy independence.
Since then, Jobs has had to take his second medical leave of absence in two years to battle an undisclosed illness. The 55-year-old Jobs had a liver transplant in 2009 and has previously battled pancreatic cancer.
In a Jan. 17 statement released by Apple, Jobs said he needed to focus on his health but would "continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company."
News reports have suggested Jobs is receiving treatment at a cancer center in California though the company has been tight-lipped about his health, and this session will be Jobs' first high-profile meeting with some of his competitors since the company's announcement last month.