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Apple chairman Art Levinson signs on as CEO of new Google health venture

post #1 of 61
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It was announced on Wednesday that Apple chairman Art Levinson has joined with Google in an initiative to combat aging and age-related health issues.

levinson-20130919.jpg


Google announced that it will be backing a new health-focused company called Calico, to be lead by former Google board member and current Apple chairman Arthur D. Levinson.

The latest 'moonshot' from the Mountain View company, Calico will focus on age-related health issues. Levinson, a biochemist who became CEO and then chairman of biotechnology giant Genentech, will make a founding investment in the company and act as its CEO.

Levinson will continue his role at Apple, according to the announcement, and Apple chief Tim Cook voiced his excitement about the project.

"For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking," Cook said. "Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn?t have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results."

Though the relationship between Apple and Google has seemingly turned adversarial in recent years as they lock horns in the consumer tech marketplace, the two competitors have been known to come down on the same side of social issues, most notably in 2008 when both companies openly opposed California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in the state.
post #2 of 61
regardless of tim's excitement, i hope levinson leaves the apple board; i sincerely believes this is a conflict of interest with his role there. (i'm an AAPL stockholder).
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post #3 of 61
Now Google can have access to personal health information of people and sell it to advertisers. Yay!
post #4 of 61
Whatever Apple comes up with in the healthcare market, Google would have already started it and it just happens to look like Apple's solution.
post #5 of 61

I'm giving Levinson the benefit of the doubt here. He seems to be particularly interested in this issue (age related health) and surely won't be sucked in by the likes of Schmidt. This venture seems to require (or will promote) research at a level above practical implementation of software or hardware on mobile devices currently. I'm of an age where I hope that they work miracles lol.

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post #6 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

regardless of tim's excitement, i hope levinson leaves the apple board; i sincerely believes this is a conflict of interest with his role there. (i'm an AAPL stockholder).

 

I am a stockholder, also, and I don't agree that there is a conflict of interest. Just because Apple board chairman Levinson is an investor and CEO of a company co-founded with an Apple (arch)rival, I can't imagine how Calico will conflict with Apple, a device/software technology company.

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post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post
 

 

I am a stockholder, also, and I don't agree that there is a conflict of interest. Just because Apple board chairman Levinson is an investor and CEO of a company co-founded with an Apple (arch)rival, I can't imagine how Calico will conflict with Apple, a device/software technology company.

 

He's not just working within Apple as the Chairman of the Board. He's also Chairman of the Board of Genentech. His passion is health and this initiative needs his entire focus.

 

It's time for the Board to research a replacement. As a shareholder and former Apple employee I would be pushing for it internally.

post #8 of 61

I thought Google's pod people were still in beta. Guess they were further along if they managed to replace Art Levinson with one.

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post #9 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
 

 

He's not just working within Apple as the Chairman of the Board. He's also Chairman of the Board of Genentech. His passion is health and this initiative needs his entire focus.

 

It's time for the Board to research a replacement. As a shareholder and former Apple employee I would be pushing for it internally.

 

The Chairman of the Board, also known as a non-executive chairman, does not do anything on a day to day basis. That is the job of the CEO. Their job is to evaluate how the company's C-suite is doing, represent shareholders in major company actions, and set appropriate compensation. It is not their place to dictate the day-to-day running of the company.

post #10 of 61

I don't think Schmidt being on the Apple board had anything to do with Google copying iPhone. They were going to do it anyway regardless of Schmidt.  Levinson as CEO of Calico should not have any conflict of interest implications either. 

 

You know, both Bill Gates and Larry Page attended SJ's funeral. Why didn't you AI freaks get all bent about that?

 

Whatever, I supposed it would be fine if he stole some of Google's tech and handed it over to Apple, right?

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post #11 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

He's not just working within Apple as the Chairman of the Board. He's also Chairman of the Board of Genentech. His passion is health and this initiative needs his entire focus.

It's time for the Board to research a replacement. As a shareholder and former Apple employee I would be pushing for it internally.

I would like to officially suggest a Mr Steve Ballmer as a replacement.

Mr Ballmer has, as an example of his dedication to Apple, decided to clear his entire schedule in a year or so, so that he may focus on such a position.

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong with such an experienced member of the I.T. industry at the helm?
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post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post


I would like to officially suggest a Mr Steve Ballmer as a replacement.

Mr Ballmer has, as an example of his dedication to Apple, decided to clear his entire schedule in a year or so, so that he may focus on such a position.

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong with such an experienced member of the I.T. industry at the helm?

:lol:

post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

I don't think Schmidt being on the Apple board had anything to do with Google copying iPhone. They were going to do it anyway regardless of Schmidt.  Levinson as CEO of Calico should not have any conflict of interest implications either. 

 

You know, both Bill Gates and Larry Page attended SJ's funeral. Why didn't you AI freaks get all bent about that?

 

Whatever, I supposed it would be fine if he stole some of Google's tech and handed it over to Apple, right?

 

It's not a question of "will they?" but "when?" (and related: "how quickly?") companies will try to copy Apple.

 

People go to funerals out of respect for someone they had a personal relationship with. Something both Gates and Page shared with Steve Jobs. No conspiracy.

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post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by konqerror View Post
 

 

The Chairman of the Board, also known as a non-executive chairman, does not do anything on a day to day basis. That is the job of the CEO. Their job is to evaluate how the company's C-suite is doing, represent shareholders in major company actions, and set appropriate compensation. It is not their place to dictate the day-to-day running of the company.

 

Thanks, well aware of what a Chairman's role is to a corporation. They also have voting power on executive leadership and sorry, but the man having his focus as CEO of one corporation and dual chairmanship of others means he either enjoys the money at both for `doing nothing' or knowing how much Art was called upon by Steve his focus being `elsewhere' and rightly where it should be--CEO--should have him voluntarily resigning his position and recommending a replacement.

 

In case you want to know Apple's governance:

 

http://investor.apple.com/governance.cfm

 

Quote:

Apple's Board of Directors oversees the Chief Executive Officer and other senior management in the competent and ethical operation of Apple on a day-to-day basis and assures that the long-term interests of shareholders are being served. To satisfy the Board's duties, directors are expected to take a proactive, focused approach to their positions, and set standards to ensure that Apple is committed to business success through the maintenance of high standards of responsibility and ethics.

 

The Board has adopted the following committee charters and governance guidelines that, in conjunction with Apple's articles of incorporation and bylaws, form the governance framework for Apple. The governance structure is designed to foster principled actions, effective decision-making and appropriate monitoring of both compliance and performance.

 

 

Excerpt from Corporate Governance Guidelines:

 

http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AAPL/2691774344x0x443011/6a7d49f1-a3af-4e69-b279-021b81a93cdf/governance_guidelines.pdf

Quote:
 
X. Directors Who Change Their Present Job Responsibilities
 
Each director who retires or substantially changes his or her principal occupation or business association from the position he or she held when initially elected to the Board shall tender his or her resignation to the Board at the time of such change by sending written notice to the General Counsel of the Corporation. The Board does not believe that a non-employee director in this circumstance necessarily should be required to leave the Board. Instead, the Board believes that the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee should review each situation and make a recommendation to the Board as to the continued appropriateness of Board membership under the new circumstances
post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Whatever Apple comes up with in the healthcare market, Google would have already started it and it just happens to look like Apple's solution.

What are you talking about?  Apple doesn't make specialized products for the healthcare market. Their computer/tablets might be used in those markets, but they are typically running 3rd party software.   Either way, until they actually spit out something, it's all conjecture as to what they will be focusing on.  It could end up not even being a piece of hardware or software.

post #16 of 61
Mr. Ballmer made Microsoft weak and would help to do the same with Apple.
That is what could go wrong Mr. gtr ...
On Mr. Levinson, the right thing is for him to resign from the Apple position, and if not, the board should replace him right away. (1) He will have no mindshare but to his new CEO position. (2) No one has been able to serve 2 masters at the same time, specially if they are competitors. (3) Like it or not, he will find himself in conflicting situations and most probably will side with Google.
Edited by mac33 - 9/18/13 at 11:59pm
post #17 of 61
Please Google, don't try to 'fix' death; it's part of life.
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post #18 of 61
Another Erick Schmit situation?.. He has to leave the board.. Right now!
post #19 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

regardless of tim's excitement, i hope levinson leaves the apple board; i sincerely believes this is a conflict of interest with his role there. (i'm an AAPL stockholder).

I agree, he should promptly and gracefully resign or be resigned. Apple have a lot of health related moves going forward and this smells too much like another potential Eric Schmidt. I don't want to see Tim having to meet Art at a coffee house, after the damage is done, to tell him either.
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post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Please Google, don't try to 'fix' death; it's part of life.

Well if they plan t freeze the entire leadership of Google as part of their experiment at Google Labs I'm all in. Maybe Gatorguy too? 1wink.gif
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post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

I would like to officially suggest a Mr Steve Ballmer as a replacement.

Mr Ballmer has, as an example of his dedication to Apple, decided to clear his entire schedule in a year or so, so that he may focus on such a position.

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong with such an experienced member of the I.T. industry at the helm?

Plus Ballmer would bring to Apple all the knowledge of Microsoft's innovative planes for the future ... Oh wait a minute ...
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post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mac33 View Post

On Mr. Levinson, the right thing is for him to resign from the Apple position, and if not, the board should replace him right away. (1) He will have no mindshare but to his new CEO position. (2) No one has been able to serve 2 masters at the same time, specially if they are competitors. (3) Like it or not, he will find himself in conflicting situations and most probably will side with Google.

It's common for directors to be CEO's of other companies. Take a look at the other Apple directors. A few years back Levinson even served on both Apple and Google's boards at the same time.
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post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

It's common for directors to be CEO's of other companies. Take a look at the other Apple directors. A few years back Levinson even served on both Apple and Google's boards at the same time.

Perhaps that was long enough ago to be when Apple and Google were good partners, you know before Google turned evil. If you reply it was after that I'll have to rethink ... 1wink.gif
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post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Perhaps that was long enough ago to be when Apple and Google were good partners, you know before Google turned evil. If you reply it was after that I'll have to rethink ... 1wink.gif

Levinson resigned from Google's board in October/2009, shortly after Schmidt resigned from Apple's board.
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post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Levinson resigned from Google's board in October/2009, shortly after Schmidt resigned from Apple's board.

Kind of makes my point then. Truthfully, I miss the good old days I was totally into everything Google back then.
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post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Kind of makes my point then. Truthfully, I miss the good old days I was totally into everything Google back then.

Agreed., but It was only fair that Levinson got to stick around at Google a bit longer to even the score, stealing a little more inside knowledge of Google's plans to take back to Apple. 1wink.gif
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post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Agreed. It was only fair that Levinson got to stick around at Google a bit longer to even the score, stealing just a little more inside knowledge of Google's plans to take back to Apple. 1wink.gif

LOL, can't help liking you.
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post #28 of 61
I have a huge problem with this. Given the rocky history with Schmidt on the board, and all the legal tussles now between the two companies, it is weird that someone could be an officer at both companies. After all, he has access to any information he wants about Apple, and a lot about Google (at least in their plans for health).

Health care is potentially a massive area of growth for Apple. Witness, for instance, the increasingly ubiquitous use of the iPad by doctors and hospitals, and the dozens and dozens of health apps. It is a multi-trillion dollar industry with a ton of IT-related money to be made. I have to assume that Google will be competing intensely in this area as well.

Time for Levinson to choose, and Apple's board to make him do so. 'But he's a nice guy' doesn't cut it for me, as a shareholder.
post #29 of 61

Are you jealous he holds 2 important positions?

post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

Are you jealous he holds 2 important positions?

If you're talking to me: no. He can hold a dozen, for all I care.

Of course, it's more likely you completely missed my point.
post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I have a huge problem with this. Given the rocky history with Schmidt on the board, and all the legal tussles now between the two companies, it is weird that someone could be an officer at both companies. After all, he has access to any information he wants about Apple, and a lot about Google (at least in their plans for health).

Health care is potentially a massive area of growth for Apple. Witness, for instance, the increasingly ubiquitous use of the iPad by doctors and hospitals, and the dozens and dozens of health apps. It is a multi-trillion dollar industry with a ton of IT-related money to be made. I have to assume that Google will be competing intensely in this area as well.

Time for Levinson to choose, and Apple's board to make him do so. 'But he's a nice guy' doesn't cut it for me, as a shareholder.

Agreed. Hopefully there will be a forceful move to do something about this. I am not happy he'd even be on the Google board even if he left Apple. I know it's common for sitting on several boards ... but when there is so much litigation and recent history of IP theft as there is here then there should be new conditions set on such positions. (Yes I know the litigation is mostly a proxy for Android via Scamsung not directly but it all comes down to Google in the end)
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post #32 of 61
I'm sure Apple has some people thinking about health care solutions. I'm not cool with having another potential Schmidt. No reason for Apple to put themselves in that position. Let Art go and instead have Apple also invest in Calico. Additionally if Art is serious about this he should focus on his new CEO job.
post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kozchris View Post

I'm sure Apple has some people thinking about health care solutions. I'm not cool with having another potential Schmidt. No reason for Apple to put themselves in that position. Let Art go and instead have Apple also invest in Calico. Additionally if Art is serious about this he should focus on his new CEO job.

Snag is, they let him go and he already probably knows enough, if not details but general directions, to keep Google happy for years to come. I'm thinking euthanasia ... 1wink.gif
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post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post
 

 

I am a stockholder, also, and I don't agree that there is a conflict of interest. Just because Apple board chairman Levinson is an investor and CEO of a company co-founded with an Apple (arch)rival, I can't imagine how Calico will conflict with Apple, a device/software technology company.

 

While I agree being CEO of a company INVESTED in by Google is much different than being CEO OF GOOGLE and sitting on Apple's Board, (the former has no reason to bring up Apple business in the context of Calico… the latter, there was no way to separate the roles in your brain… and your primary job is to maximize GOOG value) the conflict (to me) is less about confidential business plans...

 

...and more about being a full time CEO of a serious startup (everything about Levinson tells me he doesn't do things 1/2 way, as I quite admired Genentech), and being CoB of the MOST HIGHLY VALUED COMPANY IN THE FREE WORLD.   There are only 24 hours in the day.

 
One could infer from this that Levinson sees that the current board and Apple Executives are on the right flight path, and he can take 7.5 hours off a day to incubate a highly visible startup (It will be high on the search return lists;-).  But I would think that as a stockholder (I am not at current, I bought my retirement home this summer;-), That's what I would question during the next board elections.
post #35 of 61

Get the traitor off the board. Now. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

post #36 of 61

No two ways about it, Larry Page wants to buy immortality.

 

(And, yes, as an AAPL shareholder, I think Levinson should resign from Apple's BoD -- alongside Bill Campbell.)

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post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Get the traitor off the board. Now. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

I believe he was with Google before joining Apple's board.

EDIT: Nope. He was added to Apple's board in 2000 and didn't join Google's until 2004
Edited by Gatorguy - 9/19/13 at 8:59am
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post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


You know he was with Google back in 1980, a long time before he joined Apple.

 

Yo, Google wasn't even around in 1980.  It started in 1998.  They need to train you better. 

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post #39 of 61
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
You know he was with Google back in 1980, a long time before he joined Apple.

 

 

Guess Google Time is in alpha, otherwise we would have heard of it along with all their other beta products.

post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You know he was with Google back in 1980, a long time before he joined Apple.

I'm allowing for the date typo here as I am nice. But .... There you go again! That was the 'other Google' you know before the red Kryptonite. You have to remember this in your posts or you will lose credibility. 1biggrin.gif
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