And here we thought the World Economic Forum in Davos was supposed to be all about cooperation.
Someone tell that to Vladimir Putin. After the Russian Prime Minister delivered a didactic 40-minute speech to fellow Davos attendees that touched on everything from the place of the US dollar in global financial markets to Russia’s role as an energy producer, he agreed to take a few questions.
Michael Dell took the mike. Ever the salesman, Michael laid it on thick with praise for Russian technology, and then asked Putin “how can we help.”
Putin was having none of it. Fortune reports from the scene.
Putin’s withering reply to Dell: “We don’t need help. We are not invalids. We don’t have limited mental capacity.” The slapdown took many of the people in the audience by surprise. Putin then went on to outline some of the steps the Russian government has taken to wire up the country, including remote villages in Siberia. And, in a final dig at Dell, he talked about how Russian scientists were rightly respected not for their hardware, but for their software.
Touchy touchy. Especially considering how we can’t recall using Russian software for anything since Tetris.