Wednesday 26 November 2014

Davos Diary: Turning sods for Sheryl Sandberg

Published 24/01/2014 | 02:30

Sheryl Sandberg.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny began yesterday with an unusually warm meeting with Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg (below).

They meet in a small, dark room off an anonymous corridor in one of the conference centre's many annexes and that is where the poor man spent most of the day until he emerged into the relative light of the congress hall for a round table on competitiveness that evening.

Mr Kenny's excellent manners were on display as usual. Asking after "Dave" or Mr Sandberg to you and me and giving a light-hearted promise to open Facebook's next headquarters in Dublin.

Perhaps unfamiliar with the Irish politician's love of opening almost anything, Ms Sandberg seemed genuinely moved and excited by the offer.

UNFORGETTABLE FIRE OF OUR HERO

Sheryl Sandberg herself seemed a little star struck with Bono. She joked the singer, and successful tech entrepreneur, had spent most of the time during a meal talking up Ireland, and urged Enda Kenny to put Bono on the government payroll.

Bearing in mind what Bono will do for free that might be a little superfluous. Last night he was due to attend an IDA dinner which is traditionally held for the chief executives of many of the companies which have invested in Ireland.

Bono's appearance was so hush hush that Finance Minister Michael Noonan first learned about it from the Irish Independent. Whether he read about it on independent.ie or on our new app is not known.

A GATHERING, GANGNAM-STYLE

Bono was not the only celeb flying the flag for his home country.

South Korean pop star Psy of 'Gangnam Style' fame was there to promote his government. The 36-year-old singer and "goodwill" ambassador had been expected to perform his hit at Korea Night but ended up pressing the flesh instead. As 'Gangnam Style' is an attack on ostentatious wealth, this was perhaps no bad thing.

One of the features of Davos is the number of Asian delegates who have flown half way round the globe to attend. While Ireland could only field one native business leader, Denis O'Brien, South Korean was represented by 30 leaders including Hur Chang-soo, chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries; Han Duck-soo, chairman of the Korea International Trade Association; Chung Eui-sun (above), vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Company; Lee Mi-kyung, vice chairwoman of CJ Group; Koo Ja-young, CEO of SK Innovation; and Kim Jae-yeol, president of Samsung Engineering.

Irish Independent

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