CRM chief heads up George Bush's IT advisers

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US President George W. Bush is appointing Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff to the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee.

Benioff expects to co-chair the 25-person committee alongside Edward Lazowska, the Bill and Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science at the University of Washington. The committee is charged with advising the president in his effort to accelerate the development and adoption of information technology in the United States.

Benioff founded San Francisco-based Salesforce in 1999 after 12 years at Oracle. "PITAC represents the administration's commitment to technology innovation," said Benioff, in a statement. "I am tremendously honored to have been chosen by President George W. Bush to play an integral role in this effort to maintain America's tradition of excellence in the field of information technology," he said.

But Benioff's appointment might come as a disappointment to rivals Tom Siebel and Larry Ellison, both of whom have been banging the drum around Washington since 9/11 about the importance of software to homeland security. For his part, Bush has been keen to be seen alongside the IT industry which contributes millions to campaign funds.

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