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Apple board meeting next week to discuss empty seat

As of late, the search giant Google has announced a number of products that directly compete with some of the equivalents that the company Apple offers. The Android smartphone is a competitor to Apple's iPhone, the Chrome browser competes with Safari, and the recent announcement of Chrome OS would put a new rival in the same market as Apple's OS X. Competition is, of course, a very good thing (particularly for consumers), but what happens if the CEO for one company is on the board of directors of the other? That's what the legal authorities wanted to know, and recently Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, stepped down from his place on the aforementioned board, leaving an empty space. This isn't ideal for a company, so now Apple's directors will get together and discuss the situation, in a meeting which normally wouldn't happen as they usually meet about four times a year.

Officially, this hasn't fully been confirmed; it was revealed in a Wall Street Journal with the usual 'source', but it makes a lot of sense. Currently, the board of directors is seven strong, including Apple's CEO Steve Jobs, and former Vice President Al Gore. The Cupertino-based company tends to keep board numbers between seven and eight, though it can be anywhere from five to nine if desired. The company has been criticized for its strong dependance on Jobs, with David Nadler (who is a corporate governance specialist with Oliver Wyman Consulting) saying, "The biggest danger is that the board will be unable to truly take the perspective of the shareholder and will feel beholden to the CEO or unwilling to confront the CEO."

Some people (and websites, such as AppleInsider) expect that the replacement will be Apple's COO Tim Cook, who plays a huge role in the operations of the company. He took over the helm when Jobs took a brief stint away from the company due to health complications, so he would make a fine member of the board. Either way, there's bound to be an announcement soon, providing the rumor is true.

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