Genentech's Levinson quits Google, as feds probe Apple's board


Facing a federal conflict-of-interest probe, Arthur Levinson, chairman of biotech giant Genentech, resigned from Google (GOOG)'s board on Monday. The move comes nine weeks after Google CEO Eric Schmidt left the board of Apple (AAPL), where Levinson also serves. The presence of both men on Apple's board had prompted a Federal Trade Commission investigation, launched in May, over whether Schmidt and Levinson's board service violated federal competition rules.

Google and Apple, two tech powerhouses often seen as allies against Microsoft (MSFT)'s domination of the operating system and browser market, are moving closer into direct competition now that Google is striding forcefully into the mobile phone fray with its Android open-source mobile-phone operating system.

Originally published