When Eric Schmidt testified before the U.S. Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, he was sworn in and had his swearing in picture taken. This is as much a rite of passage for Fortune 100 CEOs as is refusing to answer questions under oath on the advice of counsel. Schmidt did both that day. In fairness, he only flat out refused to answer questions about Google’s $500,000,000 forfeiture for aiding and abetting the importation of controlled substances and advertising illegal drugs indiscriminately–i.e., to children. Later, Schmidt had another rite of passage once safely outside of the range of television cameras–in questions for the record, he told Senator Cornyn that he was “confused” by the questions. Questions his lobbyists and lawyers must–must–have prepped him for answering.
But notice the curious hand gesture with which Schmidt greeted the subcommittee at his otherwise solemn oathtaking. Is that not the “Vulcan salute”? Is this guy so smug he thought this would be a funny joke to have in his scrapbook?
Consider these guys pictured below–the tobacco company CEOs about to tell the Congress that cigarettes are not addictive. Another group with a lot to hide who also jeopardize the health of millions of people. No Vulcan salutes there. They know exactly what they are up against. Of course, none of them ever said their companies would refuse to follow the law, either.
But then again, in order to represent the tobacco monopoly before Congress it took eight guys. Google just had to send one.