Google CEO Larry Page apparently is trying to rewrite history.
During a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Page tries to downplay Steve Jobs’ fury over Android. In the recently released Jobs bio by Walter Isaacson, the former Apple CEO said Google’s mobile OS was a “stolen product” and that he was willing to spend every penny the company had to fight.
But Page, who has been leading the search giant for a little more than a year, has a different recollection of the issue:
I think the Android differences were actually for show. I had a relationship with Steve. I wouldn’t say I spent a lot of time with him over the years, but I saw him periodically. Curiously enough, actually, he requested that meeting. He sent me an e-mail and said: “Hey, you want to get together and chat?” I said, “Sure, I’ll come over.” And we had a very nice talk. We always did when we had a discussion generally.
He was quite sick. I took it as an honor that he wanted to spend some time with me. I figured he wanted to spend time with his family at that point. He had a lot of interesting insights about how to run a company and that was pretty much what we discussed.
When pushed about his statement, Page basically said Jobs created the feud to help make Apple better:
I think that served their interests. For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better.
And when asked whether Google would follow Apple’s lead and provide a dividend back to share holders, Page was at least honest for once:
I think Apple has more cash than we do—
You can say that again, Larry. And just look how much of Google’s cash hoard came from Apple products.
What is Page’s motive here? Is he just trying to be deferential to Jobs’ memory and legacy, or does he really believe that Steve’s anger was all for show?
(Image via BusinessInsider)