Originally Posted by lightknight
You seem to be mistaking "monopolist" and "entrepreneur". If only one company is allowed to have the best brains, it turns into a monopoly. It then stops innovating. That's not entrepreneur's mindset, unless you consider late-era Rockefellers "entrepreneurs". I believe Steve Jobs/ Larry Page are entrepreneurs. Steve Ballmer, not so much. He'd love your way of thinking though.
So companies are not allowed to cultivate unique approaches to innovation, to seek out and hire the best minds they can afford? And you have a unique concept of "monopoly". Monopoly is inherently anti-competitive in nature - which is why there are controls in place to mitigate that.
Great minds for Apple are not necessarily great minds for Google and vice versa. Just as former Apple execs have gone on to do other work after a tenure at Apple, their value is related to their skills, talent, experience, and knowledge. Some have gone on to make significant other contributions directly related to what they did at Apple - others in other ways. Apple as an organization relies on an aggregate of people to do what it does - where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. For engineers, designers, managers, a very highly compensated offer at another firm can be very attractive, and Apple is a logical target since they have a high vetting standard for the people they hire, thus reasonably assuring an organization like Google that there is high value in recruiting that person for their own uses. Additional knowledge even protected under an NDA, comes with the package, which is why only a few very high-placed individuals really know what all is in the pipeline and thus limits the exposure that a fishing expedition could snag for a competitor. This is part of the reason that Jobs not only looked for the best executives, but then made sure they "fell in love with" Apple. This ensures that they will not run off to another executive position with a competitor - carying away highly valued knowledge of what Apple is doing and planning.
Ron Johnson for example. He moved on to what he obviously felt was the opportunity of a lifetime (after building the behemouth that is the successful and growing Apple retail operations unit), in resurrecting a languishing old label big-box retailer. He proved he capability by creating a successful retail operation when ALL tradition analysis said it would fail miserably. He brings with him that very valuable experience at Apple - and we get to watch to see if that will help him re-brand and revive JCPenny.
Will Google benefit from this - I would guess so - if they know what to do with him when he arrives. The unremarked side of this discussion is whether he fits into the corporate culture at Google (which much different than Apple) or not. If not he becomes another "Papermaster", and they then paid a high price for a bad fit/damaged goods, just as Apple did with Papermaster himself.
Google is culturally an engineering organization, based on search-generated ad revenue. They are trying to diversify their portfolio and are hunting ways to reduce the vulnerability they experience as a one-trick pony operation. For example, in spite of Android's huge incursion into the mobile space - it doesn't generate a significant (by comparison) amount of revenue, and is a cost center, not a profit center for Google. Same thing with Chrome, and most of the other products/services Google offers, not related to their search ad revenue. The now-legendary free development paradigm inside points to the urgent need they have to build a wider product/service revenue base. The longer they remain largely search ad revenued, they more vulnerable they become to Microsoft Bing, and more importantly to those former Google engineers looking to build the next "Google".