Oracle names former CIA director Leon Panetta to its board

Leon Panetta, the former U.S. Secretary of Defense and CIA director under President Obama, is now an Oracle director.

Panetta served as defense secretary from 2011 to 2013 and led the CIA from 2009 to 2011. Panetta also served in the Clinton administration as chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget. And he was a congressman to California’s 16th district from 1977 to 1993. The man obviously has connections.

The appointment of a former CIA chief may raise eyebrows among the data privacy advocates who squealed at  Oracle’ s decision to purchase data aggregator Datalogix.

The move, announced Monday, is not the first time Oracle has put a political bigwig on its board. In November 2000, the vendor named Joe Lockhart, President Clinton’s former press secretary, as a director. Lockhart resigned six months later, citing the long Washington, D.C.-to-Northern California commute.  Oracle’s got to hope this appointment works out better, but at least Panetta is a native Californian.

[company]Oracle[/company] isn’t alone in snagging political heavyweights. In April, Dropbox named Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state under George W. Bush, as a director — a decision that also raised a bit of a ruckus.

Khosla and Condi Rice cozy up over emerging markets

Venture firms have a long history of partnering with high profile former politicians, to help grease the wheels of the regulatory frameworks. Khosla Ventures says it will work with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to help its startups in emerging markets.

C3 snaps up Efficiency 2.0 to tackle utility customers

Watch out Opower. Carbon and energy software player C3 — the quiet firm started by Thomas Siebel and which counts Condoleezza Rice as a director — has acquired another energy software startup Efficiency 2.0.

Condi Rice to join board of biofuel startup KiOr

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to join the board of biofuel startup KiOr in July. Not coincidentally, the news comes the week that KiOr is reportedly planning to official price its IPO, which could raise up to $241 million on the Nasdaq.

Siebel, Condi Rice-Backed C3 Looking to Raise Close to $50M

Energy resource management startup C3 has some major names from the tech and policy world in its corner, and is amassing close to $50 million in funding, according to an SEC filing today, but the company is still largely in stealth mode.

Condoleezza Rice on Cap and Trade: It’s Easily Abused

CondiRicesmallimage1The fact that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, now a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, isn’t a big fan of the current energy bill that passed the House on Friday is hardly a shocker. A cap-and-trade system can be “easily abused,” particularly on an international level, she said Monday at the Silicon Valley Energy Summit at Stanford University, where Rice is also a professor of political science, and that her own preference would be for a carbon tax, because it’s straightforward and can be easily understood.

Rice isn’t the only one that thinks a carbon tax would be better than a cap-and-trade system. Climate scientist James Hansen, as well as Al Gore (who supports the energy bill), and business leaders like Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson and Ralph Nader have also advocated a carbon tax, citing similar reasons.

Rice, who was on the board of directors for Chevron before she became Secretary of State and played a major role in the U.S.’s Kyoto negotiations, said that the cap-and-trade provisions in the Kyoto Protocol, which created a cap-and-trade system for many developed nations, were “ridiculous” and created circumstances where companies could trade credits for factories that they were shutting down anyway. A cap-and-trade system can be easily abused on a domestic level, she said, but on an international level that abuse can be 100 times worse.
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