Google's CEO Joins Apple's Board of Directors

Dennis Faas's picture

Apple announced this past Tuesday that Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been appointed to the company's board of directors. Schmidt will still remain CEO of Google.

Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO praised both Schmidt and Google saying that "Eric is obviously doing a terrific job as CEO of Google, and we look forward to his contributions as a member of Apple's board of directors … Like Apple, Google is very focused on innovation and we think Eric's insights and experience will be very valuable in helping to guide Apple in the years ahead." (Source:

Schmidt brings to Apple 20 years of experience in the technology forum. Before being hired as Google's CEO, Schmidt served as chairman and CEO of Novell. He has also been the chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems Inc. and has had experience as a research staffer at Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre.

The marriage of minds from Google and Apple is a strategic move for both companies as both are growing at exponential rates. In recent years Apple has jumpstarted and then headed up the mp3 player market with its hugely popular iPod, and Google reigns king of the Internet search engines, consistently developing more and more services and products.

Competing with Microsoft

Google, which has taken away much of the search engine market share from Microsoft's MSN Search, is poised to help Apple remain competitive once Microsoft introduces it's mp3 player, Zune, later this year.

Analysts predict that with Schmidt joining forces with Apple, Apple will be better equipped to compete with Microsoft. Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research notes that "He (Schmidt) gives Jobs and Apple more perspective on dealing with Microsoft ….Schmidt has lost at times against Microsoft" which will help both companies better deal with the industry's number one competitor. (Source:

Other Joint Ventures?

After news of Schmidt's appointment, rumors are brewing that Google and Apple may join forces in other ventures. Specifically, the news inspired gossip about the linking of Apple's online music service iTunes to Google's search engine.

Possibilities exist for a complimentary strategy between Apple and Google. For instance, Google recently announced that it is developing services that could become a Web-based competitor to Microsoft Office. Apple has recently adopted Intel's processor for Macintosh computers which has disrupted Microsoft and Intel's alliance.

Although future additional joint enterprises may exist, future competition may also be a reality. For example, rumor has it that both companies are developing smart phones (hand held devices) that could potentially compete. Competition between innovators however, is commonplace in Silicon Valley. Says Paul Freiberger, a Silicon Valley historian, "It's part of the classic yin-yang competition in Silicon Valley, where innovators cross-fertilize each other's thinking and then go out and clash in the marketplace." (Source:

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