After interviewing dozens of candidates during Google’s early years in search of someone qualified enough to fill the position of CEO, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin , went on to meet Steve Jobs , one of their personal “heroes”. The couple asked one of their main investors, John Doerr, “Why can’t he be our CEO? .
The anecdote comes from the episode dedicated to Page and Brin from Bloomberg’s documentary series “Game Changers” in which they talk about some of the most influential people of today and in which there has also been an episode about Jobs.
Page and Brin ended up hiring Eric Schmidt as CEO in 2001, who would later become part of Apple’s board of directors until growing competition between the two companies forced him to resign in 2009 after Google’s entry into the Android mobile world caused a conflict of interest for Schmidt.
With these words, Jobs announced Schmidt’s resignation from Apple’s board of directors, closing a chapter in the positive relations that both companies had maintained for years. According to the New York Times, Brin and Page considered Jobs a kind of mentor and used to visit Apple’s offices in Cupertino frequently. All this came to an end after the introduction of Android, a move for which Jobs felt betrayed and which has led to some more or less angry statements. In July, Page accused Jobs of “rewriting history” after he suggested that Google was responsible for souring his relationships.
Leaving this aside, what is really interesting is to imagine how events would have unfolded if Jobs had shared his chair at Apple with that of Google running both companies. What would have happened? What would each company’s products look like? Would Google have adopted its “all for free” policy? And what about Apple? Would we have the same products as today if Jobs had had to share the agenda? I wish we had Professor Farnsworth’s “What if” machine.