An Enemy of My Enemy Might Be My New Board Member

I’m a firm believer in stacking your board with insanely strong contributors. Gore’s a great choice. Anderson’s a great choice. Jobs… well, nothing need further be said there. Schmidt… Awesome.

But, there’s this sense that something big is looming. And, there’s always going to be something big looming. If you’re an Apple or a Google (or a Microsoft) if you don’t have something big ahead… you’re toast.

Look, I bought a position in Apple in the past two weeks. I’m following them like a HAWK now that I have skin at play. And the board looks like this:

Bill Campell:
INTUIT, CEO
APPLE COMPUTER, Chairman
OPSWARE, Director

Millard Drexler
THE GAP, Chairman
APPLE COMPUTER, Director

Stephen Paul Jobs:
APPLE COMPUTER, CEO, Director
DISNEY, Director
THE GAP, Director

Arthur Levinson, Ph. D.:
APPLE COMPUTER, Director
GENENTECH INC, Chairman
GOOGLE, Director

Fred Anderson:
APPLE COMPUTER, Director
EBAY INC, Director

Jerome B York:
APPLE COMPUTER, Director
GEN MOTORS, Director
EXIDE TECH NEW, Director

Albert Gore, Jr.
APPLE COMPUTER, Director

Now, add Dr. Eric Schmidt

To think these folks don’t bring shortcuts into the other companies they’re directors/executives at is goofy (sorry, Disney). But, it is! Because THEY DO! They’re so well connected into the fabric it would be foolish not to harness their networks. Now, I’m not entirely sure if Mr. Jobs is still on The Gap BoD. At one time he was. I’m leaving it in until I find out otherwise.

I also think that the “gang up” boardroom tactics aren’t necessarily bad either. Why the heck not!? If you have a common strategic foe… build some corporate girth/alliances to take on the opponent. By all means! I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Mr. Jobs and Dr. Schmidt compare notes and intel on Redmond. That would be a hoot.

“Well, Steve they’re doing THIS well. But here’s where we see opportunities.” Stare… “Uh huh… So, where’re Sergey and Larry on this? We were supposed to get three for the price of one.” “Hammocks. They’re still in their hammocks.”

Stories which might be helpful/interesting perspective:
Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing: Google CEO joins Apple board – is there more to this?

Silicon Beat: Apple and Google alliance — makes sense given culture, goals

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