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Obama to name Intel CEO Otellini to jobs panel

February 18, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
  • Intel chief Paul Otellini speaks at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Intel chief Paul Otellini speaks at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. (Josep Lago, AFP/Getty Images )

Reporting from Washington — President Obama on Friday will name Intel CEO Paul Otellini to his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, tapping a past critic of his policies to an advisory role as he reorients his administration's approach to the economy.

The announcement will come in Oregon when Obama tours Intel's advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility as he continues to sell the innovation agenda he announced in his State of the Union address last month.

The move mirrors January's announcement of GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt to head the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which Obama made at that company's New York headquarters.

The panel is a successor to Obama's Recovery Advisory Board. He created the new panel to signify that the administration's approach to the economy had moved beyond a rescue mission to one shifting "into overdrive."

The choice of Otellini as a member mirrors the administration's effort to restart relationships with the business community with which it had battled during the president's first two years in office, as he pushed through healthcare reform and an overhaul of Wall Street regulations.

In a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this month, Obama acknowledged the view that his administration had been hostile to business, and called for an equal effort to find common ground on initiatives to jump start the economy.

Otellini was among the members of the business community who had questioned the administration's approach. In an interview with CNN last fall, he said the stimulus program was ineffective. "Swimming pools in Mississippi are not going to create lasting jobs," he said.

The announcement comes on a two-day West Coast swing by Obama. After arriving in San Francisco on Thursday night, he met with a dozen leading executives in the technology sector, including Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

"The president specifically discussed his proposals to invest in research and development and expand incentives for companies to grow and hire, along with his goal of doubling exports over five years to support millions of American jobs," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said after the meeting.

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