Google's Eric Schmidt Has Just 15 Minutes With the Pope This Friday
As the former Google CEO and current Alphabet executive chairman, it's probably tough to get even a few minutes with Eric Schmidt. But this Friday, Schmidt will reportedly be the one limited to a quick audience -- 15 minutes, to be exact -- with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
His Holiness is on record as being a big fan of the Internet and what it can do. During his remarks for the Vatican's 48th annual World Communications Day in 2014, he said, "the Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God."
While the Pope rarely meets with business leaders such as Schmidt, the Google get-together isn't entirely out of the blue. For the last several years, there has been a technological push at the Vatican, including partnering with the tech giant to launch the Pope's YouTube channel in 2009.
Additionally, in 2010, $6 million was spent on an HD mobile TV studio to more widely broadcast the sermons of then Pope Benedict XVI, and the Pope's Twitter account, @Pontifex, went live in 2012, and currently has 8.4 million followers.
Director of Google Ideas Jared Cohen will also attend Friday's meeting.
Pope Francis made his first visit to the United States this past September. While Silicon Valley wasn't on the itinerary, he did stop in Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia.