Apple tapped Eric Schmidt for a seat on its board of directors, hoping to benefit from the Google CEO’s long industry experience.
In a press release announcing the move, Apple CEO Steve Jobs cited Google’s focus on innovation and Schmidt’s extensive experience as reasons his appointment will be helpful in guiding Apple’s future course.
Schmidt joined Google in 2001 after spending six years as CEO of Novell, the last of them rocky as the company failed to shift gears from its NetWare OS to the Internet. He stepped down from his job at Novell in mid-March 2001 and was recruited by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin two weeks later to help lead the then-fledgling company. Since then, Google has turned into a multibillion-dollar powerhouse and rivals software giant Microsoft in terms of its reach and influence.
Prior to his position at Novell, Schmidt served as one of the primary architects of the Java programming language at Sun Microsystems as chief technology officer.
Schmidt also serves on Google’s board and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Princeton University in New Jersey.
Besides Jobs and Schmidt,
Apple’s board of directors
includes Fred Anderson, former Apple chief financial officer; Bill Campbell, Apple chairman and former CEO of Intuit; Millard Drexler, chairman and CEO of clothing retailer J. Crew; Al Gore, former U.S. vice president; Arthur Levinson, chairman and CEO of biotech firm Genentech; and Jerry York, chairman, president and CEO of private investment company Harwinton Capital.