Company execs give comic takes on U.S. election at Comdex

The delayed result in the U.S. presidential election provided the heads of Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. with some comic material for their keynote addresses and press conferences at the Comdex trade show held in Las Vegas.

As his audience laughed, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates in his Sunday evening keynote described the delay as “not the best use of technology.” Gates said the problems with the punch card ballots in Florida reminded him of the days when punch cards were the entry medium for early computers, a remark that drew groans and chuckles from those of his listeners who remember those days.

Although he described himself in a Monday evening press conference as tending “not to be political,” Oracle chairman and CEO Larry Ellison did own up to whom he’d like to see in the White House. The only trouble is, his choice isn’t on the ballot, the forgotten current U.S. president, in office until January next year.

“I hope they can amend the (U.S.) constitution to let Bill Clinton run again” for four or eight years, Ellison said. Failing that, he’d support the ascendancy of Maggie, one of his three cats since “she’s completely honest,” he added.

“I’m very fond of Bill Clinton personally … the world’s going to miss him,” Ellison said. “He’s gifted, bright, charming and charismatic.” He added that Clinton wasn’t perfect but that the U.S. president is “tackling the toughest job on earth.”

Referring to unexpectedly poor fourth-quarter financial results, HP Chairman, CEO and president Carly Fiorina in her keynote address also turned to the U.S. presidential impasse for light relief, quipping “‘Don’t we get a recount too?”

A year ago at Comdex, Microsoft and its court battle with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) formed the main comic butt for the keynote speakers. Gates himself kicked off a series of jokes opening his speech with the quip – “Anyone here hear any good lawyer jokes lately?” Sun Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy carried on the joke asking his keynote audience – “Anyone heard any good monopolist jokes lately?”

Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash., can be reached at Oracle, in Redwood Shores, Calif., can be reached at HP, in Palo Alto, Calif., can be reached at

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now