Friday, July 7, 2006

Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffett to speak at Allen & Co. conference

Private retreat to be held at Sun Valley from July 11-16

Express Staff Writer

Corporate jets carrying some of the 400 or so people expected to attend the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley are starting to line up at Friedman Memorial Airport this week.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and investor Warren Buffett—the second richest man in the world—will be among the speakers at Allen & Co.'s well known but secretive annual summer conference at Sun Valley Resort next week.

Allen and Co. is an investment banking firm in New York City that specializes in the mergers and acquisitions of companies in the entertainment, information and technology fields. Since the conference was first held at Sun Valley in 1982, the list of attendees has included high-tech wizards such as Bill Gates, entertainment business executives such as Disney's former CEO Michael Eisner, and media powers such as Murdoch.

As usual, organizers this year have refused to make public the names of either the conference attendees or speakers. However, a schedule was published last week in the LA Weekly's "Deadline Hollywood" column. It includes the following items:

· On Wednesday, July 12, Allen & Co. Chairman Don Keough will speak on "The Ten Commandments for Business Failure."

· On Thursday, July 13, a presentation is scheduled on Amgen Inc., a biotechnology firm, as well as panel discussions on "Can We End Our Oil Addiction?" and "Seeking to Understand Latin America." The latter discussion will be moderated by retired NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw.

· On Friday, July 14, Eisner is scheduled to interview Barry Diller, Murdoch and Sir Howard Stringer. Diller is former CEO of Paramount Pictures and now CEO of IAC/InterActiveCorp, a media conglomerate specializing in e-commerce. Murdoch is chairman of News Corp., which owns Fox News, the New York Post and other media. Stringer is CEO of Sony Corporation.

· Also on Friday will be "A Healthcare Presentation" by Andy Grove, with Dr. Toby Cosgrove, Laura Landro and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt. Grove is ex-chair of Intel, the world's largest microchip maker, Cosgrove is CEO of The Cleveland Clinic and Landro is a Wall Street Journal reporter.

· On Saturday, July 15, PBS interview show host Charlie Rose will interview Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathoway, a leading investments company. Buffett recently made headlines for his announcement that he will give away 85 percent of his $42 billion fortune, most of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

· Also on Saturday, there will be a panel discussion on "The Fast and the Curious—New Technologies Racing to Market."

As in previous years, a long list of outdoor activities and social gatherings is also planned during the five-day event.

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