Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt said recently that he’s had to step out of Apple (AAPL) board meetings because Google’s Android mobile operating system will compete with Apple’s iPhone.
So Portfolio.com took a look at the members of Google’s board and found a couple people who might think about stepping out of Google board meetings at certain times, too:
- John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers: KPCB launched the iFund, the $100 million pile of money that gets doled out to iPhone app developers. Doerr is also a member of Amazon’s (AMZN) board, whose Amazon Web Services compete with Google’s App Engine cloud computing effort.
- John Hennessy, president, Stanford University: Hennessy sits on Cisco’s (CSCO) board. Google and Cisco have sparred publicly about the FCC’s wireless spectrum policies.
- Ann Mather, former director of Shopping.com: Shopping.com was bought by eBay (EBAY) for $634 million in 2005. And eBay’s PayPal and Google Checkout have been fighting since Google launched Checkout two years ago.
The good news, for now: Most of these “conflicts” are pretty silly. And none of them has much, if anything, to do with Google’s core search/advertising business — they’re all ancillary products like Android, App Engine, and Checkout.
But who knows which of Google’s products could become important someday — or what the company is working on next. Could we eventually see other board members — perhaps Intel’s (INTC) Paul Otellini or Genentech’s (DNA) Arthur Levinson — added to the excused list?