arthur art levinson-

Google announced yesterday that it’s backing a new health-focused company called Calico. Like many of the tech giant’s initiatives, it’s a moonshot project, tasked with extending human life by combating things like aging and disease.

To make things even more interesting, current Apple chairman Arthur D. Levinson has been named CEO of the newly-founded venture. He’ll oversee the entire operation, and will apparently be reporting directly to Google’s Larry Page…

That Levinson is heading up such a project is no surprise. His resume is chock-full with health-related positions—he was Genentech‘s CEO for 15 years, and is a director for Hoffmann-La Roche, a Swiss pharmaceutical and diagnostics firm.

But it is kind of odd that he’ll essentially be working for Google, considering his high-ranking position at Apple. Aren’t the two companies major competitors? Wouldn’t this be a conflict of interest? Not necessarily. Tim Cook’s cool with it.

From Google’s press release:

“Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, said: “For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking. Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn’t have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results.”

I’d have to agree with Tim here. Regardless of what you think about the company, you have to admit Google’s really good at making the impossible seem possible. Just look at its driverless cars, or its crazy Internet-slinging balloon program.

time google health

Unlike those projects, though, which are run out of the company’s experimental laboratory called Google X, Calico will be run as a separate company. It’s to be headquartered in the Bay Area, and will start with a significant amount of funding.

What do you think, is this a conflict of interest for Levinson?

  • smtp25

    no conflict, entirely different fields.

    • Drsmsak

      If not a conflict then why not is he focusing on ios rather than involving in other issues/interests ? 🙁

  • abdullah575

    Apple seeds iOS 7.0.1 to iPhone 5S and 5C !!!

  • Ted Forbes

    Doctoring has long moved to the computer it has already turned into and “art”! I can diagnosed myself I don’t need a human MD, the only thing left is for my iOS, Android or Windows device to write me a prescription. Maybe this is it! Thanks Art, LOL!

  • chumawumba

    I have a feeling Google is the next innovation company

    • Ted Forbes

      The birth of Google is innovation. My bet is we’ll see more miracles coming from Google than from Apple in the future.

      • lrd555

        Keep dreaming. They’ve copied & stolen more than innovated.

    • FOFF

      all they need to do is come up with a new high level OS and make its own 1 phone hardware beast just for that software that will be perfect like the iphone.. only then will they beat apple..

  • No conflict and Apple and Google are not really competitors. They build value from each other’s work. An iPhone running Google apps is the best thing out there right now and both companies benefit from this coexistence.

    • lrd555

      Pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

  • lrd555

    I smell another snitch on Apple’s board. I think Tim Cook should consider removing this guy from the board ASAP!