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Google today announced the launch of a new company called Calico. The company focuses on health and well-being matters, and Google CEO Larry Page describes it as a “moonshot” initiative that could help millions of people:

Announcing this new investment, Larry Page, Google CEO said: “Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives. It’s impossible to imagine anyone better than Art—one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation—to take this new venture forward.” Art said: “I’ve devoted much of my life to science and technology, with the goal of improving human health. Larry’s focus on outsized improvements has inspired me, and I’m tremendously excited about what’s next.”

Notably, Arthur Levinson will be a founder and the CEO of Calico. Levinson used to be a Board Member at Google, and he is currently the Chairman of Apple’s Board of Directors and Genetech. Apple CEO Tim Cook has even commented in Google’s press release about the company:

Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, said: “For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking. Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn’t have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results.”

TIME has published an extensive profile of the initiative…


It’s worth pointing out that there is no other company in Silicon Valley that could plausibly make such an announcement. Smaller outfits don’t have the money; larger ones don’t have the bones. Apple may have set the standard for surprise unveilings but, excepting a major new product every few years, these mostly qualify as short-term. Google’s modus operandi, in comparison, is gonzo airdrops into deep “Wait, really?” territory. Last week Apple announced a gold iPhone; what did you do this week, Google? Oh, we founded a company that might one day defeat death itself.

Larry Page talks about it more on G+

Notably, Art Levinson thanks Tim Cook for his support (read: Permission).

I want to thank several people who have been supportive of this venture, especially Tim Cook, Franz Humer, Bill Maris and my family.

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9 Responses to “Google launches health company with Apple Chairman Levinson as CEO, Cook comments”

  1. rahhbriley says:

    Tim’s reaction is cool. The health area is one I’d love to see the technology sector spear head more. Cook’s apparent joy in seeing people chase grand visions is nice too.

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  2. Official reaction, but behind the curtain I´m sure he is worried about another Eric Schmidth leak.

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  3. I doubt he has very many concerns ( he meaning Cook ). Looks like a good collaborative efforts.

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  4. 311sie says:

    The next frontier of data mining. Wonder how the govm’nt will make use of this new information stream.

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  5. rogifan says:

    I think Apple should search for a new board chairman. I mean doesn’t it seem a bit weird to have a CEO of one of your biggest competitors as your chairman? Besides if he’s running this new venture how much time will he have to devote to Apple?

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  6. Haven’t we been down this road before. Wasn’t Eric Schmidt on the Apple BOD when he took the iPhone design to Google to copy and start their own smartphone division that now is a royal pain in the ass to Apple.

    This should be an automatic end of Arthur Levinson’s time on the Apple Board. Unless Cook is thinking about a merger, which couldn’t happen.

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