Arthur Levinson's exit from the board comes as the Federal Trade Commission continues its review of the interlocking relationships between Apple and Google.

W. David Gardner, Contributor

October 12, 2009

2 Min Read

Google announced the resignation Monday of Arthur Levinson as a member of the firm's Board of Directors, removing a key issue in a review by the Federal Trade Commission, which has been investigating Levinson's dual role as a director of Google and Apple. Levinson remains a director of Apple.

In August Google chief executive Eric Schmidt resigned from the Apple board after it was disclosed that the FTC was examining interlocking relationships between the two firms.

On Monday, Schmidt and Levinson, a former CEO of Genentech, swapped statements praising each other.

"Art has been a key part of Google' success these past five years, offering unvarnished advice and vital counsel on every big issue and opportunity Google has faced," said Schmidt.

"Working with Eric, Larry (Page) Sergey (Brin) and the whole Google team has been a remarkable experience for me," said Levinson.

Schmidt had been a member of the Apple board since 2006 when there was little competition brewing between Google and Apple. However, when Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced Schmidt's resignation from the Apple board, the two firms had been inching closer to competing with each other. At the time, Jobs said: "Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple's core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric's effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest."

Another Apple director who has had a longtime relationship with Google is former U.S. vice president Al Gore, who has served as a senior advisor to Google.

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