President Barack Obama just named two Silicon Valley bigwigs to his new Economic Recovery Advisory Board — famed venture capitalist John Doerr of Keiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Charles Phillips, president of business software maker Oracle Corp.
There’s an impressive range of names on the board, which will be led by Paul Volcker, who chaired the Federal Reserve under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, and will include GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumpka, and Harvard Economics Prof. Martin Feldstein.
“Put simply, I created this board to enlist voices to come from beyond the Washington echo chamber, to ensure that no stone is unturned as we work to put people back to work and get our economy moving,” Obama said.
Doerr is probably the board memeber who’s best-known to VentureBeat readers. Largely on the strength of his investment in Google, Doerr again topped this year’s Midas List of the top investors, but he has also backed Sun Microsystems and Tellme Networks. To see some of his thoughts on the downturn, you can read Doerr’s suggestions about how companies can stay float, and his interview at last November’s Web 2.0 Summit, when he recommended Sun cofounder and Kleiner Perkins partner Bill Joy for Obama’s new position of chief technology officer. (Speaking of Obama’s CTO, there’s still no word on who that’s going to be, although there are plenty of rumors.)
Doerr and Phillips are both big Democratic donors, as CNET’s Declan McCullagh points out.
Update: Doerr just emailed me with this comment:
Today we learned that 600,000 Americans lost jobs last month. It’s devastating. So the president created this board to hear from voices outside the Washington echo chamber: from workers and managers, small and large businesses, innovators and finance types, and yes, even economists. The president said he wants to hear dissenting points of view. He and his team really “get it” – and are driving big change to keep the economic crisis from becoming a catastrophe.