Pics or it didn’t happen.
The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met a host of Silicon Valley technology company executives while in the United States last week, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz, and Virgin founder Richard Branson, photographs reveal.
Widely known as "MBS”, the prince stopped off at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, to rub shoulders with a handful of company leaders.
The prince was pictured shaking hands with Hiroshi Lockheimer, the Google senior vice-president, who runs Android, Chrome, and other platforms, while CEO Sundar Pichai, Google’s vice-president of technical infrastructure, Urs Hölzle, and leader of Google’s cloud business, Diane Greene, appear in the background.
He also met Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder and president of parent company Alphabet. They discussed cloud computing and the establishment of a research and development centre for Saudi youth, according to an Arabian news publication.
The chief executive of the world's largest energy company, Saudi Aramco, told CNBC last month that his company wanted to team up with the likes of Amazon and Google to build a technology hub in the kingdom.
HRH the Crown Prince discussed ways to develop apps in KSA and enriching educational Arabic content, including training Saudi youth in the company’s headquarters. HRH then visited the Steve Jobs theater to hear about the company’s latest projects. #CrownPrinceInSF pic.twitter.com/9oeEbMpFUK— Saudi Embassy (@SaudiEmbassyUSA) April 7, 2018
There is no word on whether Google’s other co-founder, Larry Page, showed up.
The Prince also met Rony Abovitz, CEO of augmented reality company Magic Leap.
HRH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman visited the headquarters of @apple with CEO @tim_cook where he explored potential areas for partnerships and cooperation in the areas of tech, education, research and training. #CrownPrinceInSF pic.twitter.com/13lB8fSTjn— Saudi Embassy (@SaudiEmbassyUSA) April 7, 2018
The prince also apparently got his own demonstration of the extremely secretive product.
He also stopped to chat with Virgin Group’s Richard Branson and met Apple’s CEO Tim Cook.
While he may have received a warm reception from these technology leaders, not everyone was happy about the prince’s visit.
Earlier last week, people protested outside the Four Seasons Hotel where he was staying, arguing that Silicon Valley should not establish any kind of partnership with the prince until Saudi Arabia ended its military intervention in Yemen.
Although the prince is known for being progressive, Saudi Arabia’s government is still also known for being generally repressive, with laws punishing homosexuality and preventing women from travelling without the permission of men.