Raise your glasses! Steve Jobs is an honoured guest at Obama's dinner with the masters of social media universe

The Apple boss was the "surprise guest", said insiders. Jobs was seen neither arriving or leaving the house; the only picture issued by the White House shows a back view of Mr Jobs sitting on the left of the president, raising his glass. On the president's right is Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

The picture was in stark contrast to those published in the current National Enquirer, showing a "rail thin" Apple CEO under a headline claiming that experts believed he had six weeks to live. The Enquirer said their photos showed Mr Jobs after visiting Stanford Cancer Center. The magazine said 56-year-old Mr Jobs was "putting up a tremendously courageously battle, just like Patrick Swayze, who was brought down by the same deadly disease, pancreatic cancer” and who attended the same hospital.

Steve Jobs, probably the most influential single technology figure of the modern era, well deserved his place at the president's side. These are the other 2011 giants in the White House picture:

• From Yahoo: Carol Bartz, President and CEO;.

• From Cisco: John Chambers, Chairman and CEO;.

• From Twitter: Dick Costolo, CEO;.

• From Oracle: Larry Ellison, Co-Founder and CEO;

• From Netflix: Reed Hastings, CEO;

• From Stanford University: John Hennessy, President;

• From Genentech: Art Levinson, Chairman and former CEO;

• From Google: Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO;

• From The Westly Group: Steve Westly, and Founder;

• From Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO.

There were 14 people round the table. Mrs Doerr, back to the camera, was there as was Valerie Jarrett, Obama's adviser, at the far end of the table on the right.

The picture, issued by The White House, will no doubt go down in history as unique. The health of Jobs aside, it seems unlikely that this group will gather in one place again for such an occasion again.

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