Google’s Eric Schmidt joins Apple board
I just read that Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has joined the Apple Board of Directors.
The more I think about it, the more that I realise – “wow, that’s a big deal” but also “wow, that’s potentially not good news”.
To be clear, Schmidt is not leaving Google – he’s just going to sit on the board of both companies. But that can only mean that Google and Apple intend to work closer together in the future – otherwise there would be massive conflicts of interest, especially as Schmidt is not just a board member of Google but CEO too.
The bit that I am most worried about is that Goolge has always been very platform-neutral (whereas Apple clearly isn’t). What that means for the rest of us, I’m not sure yet.
Clearly there would be a lot to gain if the two companies worker closer together – Apple has a massive media arm these days that Google is so desperate to get into. And Google effectively could become Apple’s equivalent to Microsoft’s Live – ensuring that Apple doesn’t need to open up all new web divisions to offer products matched against Microsoft’s take on Web2.0.
I don’t know where it’s all heading, but I find the move very curious indeed – especially as I would have thought Lary, Sergy and the primary shareholders of Google would want Schmidt concentrating all his efforts on Google.