According to DOJ documents, Apple was also trying to sell Google on the idea of working on search “as if we are one company.”
From Mark Gurman and Mark Berman’s “Apple Tried to Hire Away Former Google Search Chief Ben Gomes” posted Thursday by Bloomberg:
In a subpoena sent to Apple this week, the Justice Department asked the Cupertino, California-based technology giant to turn over documents related to efforts to hire Gomes and Giannandrea.
The subpoena demanded all documents starting in Jan. 1, 2010, about attempts to recruit employees from Google, Microsoft Corp.’s Bing, Yahoo! Inc. and DuckDuckGo “with expertise or experience in internet search services or search advertising, including: John Giannandrea and Ben Gomes.” Representatives for Apple and Google declined to comment.
The document doesn’t say when Apple attempted to hire Gomes, but any such effort wasn’t successful. Gomes remains at Google in a role running the Alphabet Inc.-owned company’s education efforts. He was search chief until 2020 after taking over for Giannandrea when that executive left for Apple.
Gomes, who joined Google in 1999, is one of the company’s most veteran engineers and a central figure on the search team from the early days. Apple’s attempt to hire Gomes suggests that the company may have held ambitions to more broadly rival Google in search.
The mind drifts back to a Mark Gurman story from October 2020…
The U.S. government’s antitrust assault against Google reveals new details about a secretive, multibillion-dollar deal between the internet giant and Apple Inc., the world’s largest technology company…
The U.S. government said Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai met in 2018 to discuss the deal. After that, an unidentified senior Apple employee wrote to a Google counterpart that “our vision is that we work as if we are one company.”
The DOJ also cited internal Google documents that call the Apple search deal a “significant revenue channel” for the search giant and one that, if lost, would result in a “Code Red” scenario. That’s because nearly half of Google search traffic in 2019 came from Apple products, according to the lawsuit.
My take: I’m not sure Pichai’s idea of working as if Google and Apple were one company would have including sharing their best engineers.