“Don’t you just love all the stuff that comes out when a hot tech company declares it’s going public? I’m thinking in particular about a tidbit from Nick Bilton’s piece in the Times magazine about the intrigue and betrayals in Twitter’s early years,” Jeff Bercovici reports for Forbes. “Around the beginning of 2009, as Twitter was gathering momentum, cofounders Ev Williams and Biz Stone were ‘regularly turning down overtures to buy the company,’ reports Bilton. Among those making the overtures was former Vice President Al Gore, who ‘pitched Williams and Stone one night over copious amounts of wine and Patron tequila at his St. Regis suite in San Francisco.’”

“On whose behalf was Gore pouring all that wine and tequila that night? It could have been one of several parties, given the dense web of tech-industry allegiances Gore has woven for himself since entering the private sector in 2001,” Bercovici reports. “At the time of his approach, Gore was a member of Apple’s board of directors, as he still is. He was also a senior advisor to Google, assuming it took place before August 2009, when he has said he ‘pulled back’ to avoid conflicts of interest, following the lead of Google’s then-CEO, Eric Schmidt, who stepped down from Apple’s board then.”

Apple director Al Gore

Apple director Al Gore

Bercovici reports, “Speaking of conflicts, Apple has reportedly tried to buy part or all of Twitter several times over the years. In early 2009, it was said to be closing in on a deal to get it for $700 million, although that was never confirmed beyond the level of rumor. Google has also made one or more runs at acquiring Twitter, including one in spring 2009, according to Ken Auletta. In other words, Gore was trying to buy a company that two companies he worked for were also (reportedly) trying to buy within the same timeframe of a few months. (I’m not even going to get into all the conflicts that went along with his being a partner in the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In Silicon Valley, that kind of thing isn’t even an afterthought.)”

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