Apple CEO Tim Cook to speak at White House cybersecurity summit, other CEOs defer

Apple CEO Tim Cook will speak at the White House cybersecurity summit Friday at Stanford University, according to an event invitation.

The White House is expected to reveal its next executive action on cybersecurity at the summit, which will bring together tech executives, leading academics and government officials to discuss ways in which the government can better collaborate with the private sector on cybersecurity initiatives.

This is about privacy and the ongoing battle over government access to our emails and digital lives. This is an opportunity to find a path that works for both sides, or at least better understand the issues at stake. Tim Cook will be there. Other notables will not.


The top executives of Google Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and Facebook Inc. won’t attend President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity summit on Friday, at a time when relations between the White House and Silicon Valley have frayed over privacy issues. Facebook Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt all were invited but won’t attend the public conference at Stanford University, according to the companies. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook is planning to be at the event, where Obama is scheduled to give the keynote speech and have a private lunch with a select group of attendees.

If not attending the event is a form of protest, it is ill timed and ill informed. Go to the event. Make your voices heard. Stand up for your customers and your shareholders.