Apple board member Bill Campbell cut ties to Google over rivalry

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple Board of Director member and Intuit Chairman Bill Campbell revealed in an interview that increased competition between Apple and Google forced him to choose between the two companies, eventually causing him to sever his ties to Google.



In an interview with Miguel Helft of The New York Times, Campbell admitted that his role as a board member at Apple and an adviser to Google came into conflict as Apple and Google began competing in the smartphone market.



?I don?t do much for Google anymore,? said Campbell. "The Android competition has changed the whole dynamic. I don?t want to be a burden to either company. I don?t want to be a focal point for any dissent.?



Campbell, who is known in Silicon Valley simply as "Coach," served as an executive vice president at Apple in the 1980s and CEO of Intuit, before joining Apple's board of directors in 1997. In addition to his formal roles, Campbell has also served as a mentor to many prominent Silicon Valley executives and companies, including Google and its CEO Eric Schmidt.



"His contribution to Google - it is literally not possible to overstate. He essentially architected the organizational structure," Schmidt said of Campbell, in a 2008 profile of the "Coach" in Fortune Magazine. In the profile, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was quoted as saying of Campbell, "There's something deeply human about him."



In Monday's Times interview, Campbell expressed regret over the Fortune profile, which brought him out from "under the radar," changing him from "an anonymous guy who wandered around in the Valley" into "someone people focused on."



According to Campbell, there was a time when no one cared about his role at Google or Apple, but things have changed. "Today it is problematic," he said. "There is nothing I would do for either company that would jeopardize one of the other, but that's not the point."



A report by the Times in March highlighted Campbell as a potential "peacemaker" in the growing feud between Apple and Google, but went on to note that both Jobs and Schmidt had lobbied Campbell to sever ties with the competition, reportedly going so far as to give him ultimatums. Citing a person with knowledge of the situation, the report claimed Campbell had severed his ties with Google.



Campbell confirmed in his recent interview with the Times that he had indeed chosen Apple, although he "still talks to Eric Schmidt once in a while," according to Monday's report. However, Campbell wasn't the only board member to have to cut ties with Google. In October of last year, Apple board member Dr. Arthur Levinson, former CEO of Genentech, resigned from the Google Board of Directors after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission began investigating the Apple and Google for having "interlocking directorates," which are forbidden for competing companies because of antitrust concerns.



Schmidt was also a member of Apple's board of directors, but resigned last year due to potential conflicts of interest as Apple and Google began to compete over smartphones, browsers, and operating systems.



Currently, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore appears to be the only Apple board member to maintain formal ties to Google, as Apple's press bio for him and his official website both list him as a "Senior Advisor" to Google in addition to his role as a member of Apple's board of directors.



The growing competition between Apple and Google has become increasingly personal, with the two companies' executives disagreeing over Android and the iPhone. According to the Times, meetings between Apple and Google after the introduction of Android "turned confrontational" as Jobs accused Google of "stealing iPhone features."



"We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business," Jobs reportedly said during a company meeting. "Make no mistake, Google wants to kill the iPhone. We won't let them."



In July, Google cofounder Larry Page questioned Jobs' assertion that Google copied Apple, calling it "a little bit of rewriting history."



"We had been working on Android a very long time, with the notion of producing phones that are Internet enabled and have good browsers and all that, because that did not exist in the market place," Page reportedly said. "I think that characterization of us entering after is not really reasonable."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    Quote:

    There's something deeply human about him.



    Now that's one heck of a profound statement!
  • Reply 2 of 30
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    "In July, Google cofounder Larry Page questioned Jobs' assertion that Google copied Apple, calling it "a little bit of rewriting history."



    "We had been working on Android a very long time, with the notion of producing phones that are Internet enabled and have good browsers and all that, because that did not exist in the market place," Page reportedly said. "I think that characterization of us entering after is not really reasonable."



    Well, let's not forget about how all the Google phone prototypes that Eric Schmidt showed Steve Jobs had a Blackberry form and the first one that they actually released liked like an iPhone.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "There's something deeply human about him."



    Hmmm is Steve actually implying that he himself.... is not human?





    Would explain a few things.
  • Reply 4 of 30
    If Bill Campbell is on the Apple Board and is the Chairman of Intuit I wonder why the Mac version of Quicken is such a poor product
  • Reply 5 of 30

    deleted

  • Reply 6 of 30
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    Well la-ti-frickin'-da!!!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bill Campbell


    "I don’t want to be a burden to either company. I don’t want to be a focal point for any dissent.”



    He certainly isn't a focal point for Apple, since his Quicken products for Macs suck.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    When is Bill Campbell going to get off his duff and bring the Mac version of Quicken up to par or out-do the Windows version?
  • Reply 8 of 30
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    Hmmm is Steve actually implying that he himself.... is not human?





    Would explain a few things.



    The quote is attributed to Campbell.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by justbobf View Post


    When is Bill Campbell going to get off his duff and bring the Mac version of Quicken up to par or out-do the Windows version?



    When doing so becomes sufficiently profitable. And not before. Might happen.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    normmnormm Posts: 568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kellya74u View Post


    It must be an honor & a privilege for both companies to have on their boards, the inventor of the internet!



    Gore is widely acknowledged by the academic inventors of the internet, such as Viinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, for his singular legislative role in making the commercial internet a reality and for providing "intellectual leadership by helping create the vision of the potential benefits of high speed computing and communication" (see their note, Al Gore's support of the Internet, by V.Cerf and B.Kahn). Gore's assertion that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet" is literally true, however much ignorant assholes laugh about it.
  • Reply 11 of 30
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,088member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by moe-jiller View Post


    If Bill Campbell is on the Apple Board and is the Chairman of Intuit I wonder why the Mac version of Quicken is such a poor product



    Bill Campbell stepped down as CEO of Intuit in 2000. So all the Campbell bashing is a little misplaced. The current CEO is a guy named Brad Smith and he replaced another guy named Stephen Bennett in 2007. So let's get our scapegoats correct shall we. Campbell was going to stop development of the Mac version of Quicken all together back in 1999 but Jobs talked him out of it. Campbell is still Chairman of the Board at Intuit but he doesn't run the company anymore.



    http://about.intuit.com/about_intuit...l_campbell.jsp
  • Reply 12 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NormM View Post


    Gore is widely acknowledged by the academic inventors of the internet, such as Viinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, for his singular legislative role in making the commercial internet a reality and for providing "intellectual leadership by helping create the vision of the potential benefits of high speed computing and communication" (see their note, Al Gore's support of the Internet, by V.Cerf and B.Kahn). Gore's assertion that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet" is literally true, however much ignorant assholes laugh about it.



    is that you Al!? Bwahahaha.. the modern day Tetzel, the 7th layer of you know where has a spot reserved just for you!
  • Reply 13 of 30
    bagmanbagman Posts: 349member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by justbobf View Post


    When is Bill Campbell going to get off his duff and bring the Mac version of Quicken up to par or out-do the Windows version?



    It's not just the Mac versions. Quickbooks Pro for windows has slowed down from year to year with bloatware, and was so terrible over our network as to make it unuseable. Had to resort to using it on only the primary PC. Also, they make you upgrade every two years, or they cut you off with your payroll service (after you have tasted the crack of having software take care of this monstrosity called payroll), always saying that they are "upgrading your experience, and can't support earlier versions" - hogwash. Their programmers remind me of the bloatware typical of microsoft stuff over the years - guaranteed to make you upgrade to faster machines just to keep running at all. Intuit programmers are a cut WAY BELOW microsoft's guys, so no wonder they can't provide a decent Mac product, since they can barely keep up with working so hard to justify upgrading all their windows users by extortion.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,614member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post


    is that you Al!? Bwahahaha.. the modern day Tetzel, the 7th layer of you know where has a spot reserved just for you!



    Mockery has always been the last refuge of the ignorant.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,614member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by moe-jiller View Post


    If Bill Campbell is on the Apple Board and is the Chairman of Intuit I wonder why the Mac version of Quicken is such a poor product



    It is quite ironic that the chairman of the company that sells probably the unforgivably shittiest Mac app ever sits on Apple's board. Unforgivable because Intuit is a billion dollar company who should know better than to peddle such crap.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    The quote is attributed to Campbell.



    In this article at least, it is attributed to Steve Jobs, speaking about Campbell. Not that Steve is any great expert in these matters.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    Hmmm is Steve actually implying that he himself.... is not human?





    Would explain a few things.



    ...under you particular moniker here. But then the shallowness of the comment betrays a profound lack of understanding - or concern.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    In this article at least, it is attributed to Steve Jobs, speaking about Campbell. Not that Steve is any great expert in these matters.



    you are a close personal friend of Steve Jobs and can speak authoritatively on that can you?



    Really dear Doctor, a little more style please. At least couch the snark in a bit of humor?



    Perhaps a few "Coach" quotes from Cheers, or something even funnier. Unless you know Campbell and his contributions of the last dozen years, that would be an easy one.



    It used to be that this kind of stuff picked steam on the second page of posts - you all must be having sour days.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LewysBlackmore View Post


    you are a close personal friend of Steve Jobs and can speak authoritatively on that can you?



    Really dear Doctor, a little more style please. At least couch the snark in a bit of humor?



    Perhaps a few "Coach" quotes from Cheers, or something even funnier. Unless you know Campbell and his contributions of the last dozen years, that would be an easy one.



    It used to be that this kind of stuff picked steam on the second page of posts - you all must be having sour days.



    I can see your snark goes up to 11. I won't even try to compete with that.



    But I can say that many years ago, I interviewed Guy Kawasaki, and I asked him about Steve Jobs. He told me that trying to describe Steve was like trying to explain air to a fish.



    So you figure it out.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    Intuit probably could develop great Mac software, but they seem to have moved on from consumer software to financial services. They are pushing consumer loans and ADP-style accounting and paycheck services for businesses. I think they are maintaining (barely) their consumer software lines just to avoid the bad PR from dumping them altogether. I wish they'd sell Quicken off to someone who cares.
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