updated 06:30 pm EST, Mon November 8, 2010
Apple's Campbell confirms Android war Google
Apple board member Bill Campbell confirmed tonight that his decision to drop backing for Google was the direct result of the feud between Apple and Google. When asked to make a choice, he picked Apple to avoid any further problems. The existence of Android "changed the whole dynamic," he told the NYT and left him staying with Apple despite having set up much of Google's corporate structure.
"I don't want to be a burden to either company," Campbell said. I don't want to be a focal point for any dissent."
The technology veteran and Intuit Chairman, who now supports the RockMelt browser project, had earned a reputation as both a mentor and as a peacemaker but faced trouble persuading either Apple's or Google's leadership to come to a truce. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is rumored to have felt betrayed when Google launched Android despite Google having bought the mobile OS project three years earlier in 2005, or about two years before Apple unveiled the iPhone.
The exposure through leaks hurt, Campbell said. He used to have the option of working somewhat anonymously but became a center of attention after the dispute became public. He didn't think of himself as creating trouble but didn't want to foster antagonism by maintaining a status quo. "There is nothing I would do for either company that would jeopardize one or the other, but that's not the point," he said.