Google Inc. won’t hold its invitation-only party this year at the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland, depriving attendees of a soiree famous for the celebrities and political luminaries it lures.
The world’s biggest Internet-search company will send a delegation, the company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday, without giving a reason for canceling the party. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, who hosted the party last year and traveled to North Korea this week on a private humanitarian mission, isn’t on a preliminary list of scheduled attendees.
Hundreds of influential executives, bankers and policy makers flock to the annual Davos conference, scheduled for Jan. 23-27. In previous years, the Google party dance floor at the Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere has attracted guests including Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. president and chief operating officer, and Steven A. Cohen, founder of SAC Capital Advisors LP.
“It was the hottest party at Davos,” said Kari Stoever, 47, vice president of external affairs for Aeras, a tuberculosis-vaccine developer. She said that she has attended Davos several times and plans to return this year.
When she walked into the Google party in 2010 with Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, there was an underwater theme to the decor and the staff costumes, Stoever recalled. Each year has a different motif, she said.
“It is always crowded and hot,” Stoever said. “There is a dance floor in the middle of the room and it’s packed.”
Coca-Cola Co., which hosts another popular party, plans no changes this year for its reception in the middle of the week, according to Kent Landers, a spokesman. Coca-Cola Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent is one of the co-chairs of Davos.
Other popular parties are hosted by Accenture Plc and McKinsey & Co., Stoever said. India’s Hindi-language film industry, informally known as Bollywood, also throws a bash, she said.