WASHINGTON, October 20 – Google chief executive Eric Schmidt plans to endorse Barack Obama this week and campaign for the Democratic presidential candidate, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.,
"I’m doing this personally," Schmidt told the newspaper in an interview, adding that the Mountain View, California-based Internet search giant was "officially neutral" in the November 4 presidential election.
The Wall Street Journal said Schmidt planned to join executives from other technology companies in announcing their support for Obama and would appear at an event in Florida on Tuesday with the Democratic candidate.
The newspaper did not identify the other executives.
Schmidt is one of a number of top Silicon Valley executives who have served as technology advisors to the Obama campaign. Craig Newmark, founder of popular classified ads firm craigslist, is also an advisor to the Democratic nominee.
Republican candidate John McCain enjoys the support of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, Cisco CEO John Chambers and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina among others.
But the high-tech sector has generally viewed Obama more favorably than McCain and The Wall Street Journal said that as of August 31, Google employees have contributed 487,355 dollars to Obama’s campaign and just 20,600 dollars to McCain’s.
The newspaper noted that Schmidt’s endorsement of Obama comes although Google is involved in a number of regulator issues with the US Congress and Justice Department, including scrutiny of a proposed advertising agreement between Google and Yahoo.
"My sense is, the Justice Department makes judgments on these issues independent of politics," Schmidt told the newspaper. "It would be unfair to Justice to imply (that supporting Obama) would make a difference."
The Journal said that although Schmidt has said he is not interested in politics, there was speculation among tech and media executives that he could fill the chief technology officer post Obama has said he would create.