According to a new book, Steven Levy’s ‘In the Plex’, the pair wanted to hire Steve Jobs to be their CEO.
Jobs was working for Apple, which in those days was much bigger than Google. But rather than just telling them to go away, Jobs saw Google’s potential and agreed to mentor Page and Brin and share advisers.
All went really well, with the industry only really having a hint of the deal because the two outfits shared board members.
However the relationship soured when Google bought and started work on Android.
Jobs saw it as a direct threat to the iPhone and felt betrayed by the pair.
Apparently when they showed him features like the ‘pinch-and-zoom’ control to look at websites he was furious – and thought that his best ideas from the iPhone had been nicked.
It was soon after that the two companies started to have more public rows and started to remove members from each other’s boards.