Apple has tapped the head of Google for its own board, hoping to benefit from his long industry experience.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has joined Apple's board of directors, the PC and consumer electronics maker said yesterday.

In a press statement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs cited Google's focus on innovation and Schmidt's extensive experience as reasons why his appointment will be helpful in guiding Apple's future course.

Schmidt joined Google in 2001 after spending six years as CEO of Novell, the last of them rocky as the company failed to shift gears from its NetWare OS (operating system) to the internet. He stepped down from his job at Novell in mid-March 2001 and was recruited by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin two weeks later to help lead the then-fledgling company. Since then Google has turned into a multibillion-dollar powerhouse, rivalling software giant Microsoft in reach and influence.

Prior to his position at Novell, Schmidt served as one of the primary architects of the Java programming language at Sun Microsystems as chief technology officer.

Schmidt also serves on Google's board and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Princeton University.