Over the past few months, there had been quite a bit of a controversey regarding Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s dual role as a board member at both Apple and Google. Not too long ago, and shortly after Apple “rejected” Google Voice from the iTunes App Store, Schmidt resigned from the Apple board citing a growing conflict of interest between his roles at Apple and Google.
But Schmidt wasn’t the only one serving both on the Apple and Google boards. Genentech CEO Arthur D. Levinson was also a dual board member, up until earlier this morning at least. Earlier today, Levnsion announced his resignation from Google’s board of directors, and will choose to remain on board with Apple instead. Levinson’s stint as a Google board member began in 2004.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt had this to say about Levinson in light of his departure.
Art has been a key part of Google’s success these past five years, offering unvarnished advice and vital counsel on every big issue and opportunity Google has faced. Though he leaves as a member of our Board, Art will always have a special place at Google.
Both Schmidt and Levinson’s roles as dual board members first entered the spotlight when the SEC begain investigating any potential conflicts of interest. While an individual can legally serve as a board member for 2 separate companies, things start to get a bit complicated when those 2 companies are competitors, as Google and Apple increasingly seem to be in light of Chrome, Chrome OS, and Android.