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Al Gore joins Apple's board

The former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate joins the board of directors of Apple Computer.

Apple Computer on Wednesday named former Vice President Al Gore to its board of directors.

In a statement, CEO Steve Jobs noted that Gore is an avid Mac user who edits his own videos using Final Cut Pro. However, Gore's support of the Mac has not been unwavering, with the politician having said three years ago that he had switched from a Mac to a PC. Gore was chosen as a director at a meeting of Apple's board earlier Wednesday.

"Al brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and wisdom to Apple from having helped run the largest organization in the world--the United States government," Jobs said. "Al is going to be a terrific director, and we're excited and honored that he has chosen Apple as his first private sector board to serve on."

In a statement, Gore praised Jobs for rebuilding Apple.

"Steve and his team have done an incredible job in making Apple once again the very best in the world," Gore said. "I have been particularly impressed with the new Mac OS X operating system and the company's commitment to the open-source movement. And I am especially looking forward to working with and learning from the great board members who have guided this legendary company's inspiring resurgence."

Since losing his bid to become president, Gore has been a senior adviser to Google. He also is a visiting professor at the University of California, Los Angeles; Fisk University; and Middle Tennessee State University.

The former veep is a noted champion of technology who helped popularize the term "information superhighway." However, he also earned the scorn of the tech community for once saying that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet."

In February 2000, then-presidential candidate Gore was asked whether he used a PC or Mac. Gore responded that it was kind of a high-tech "boxers or briefs" question, before indicating that he had switched to a PC.

According to an Associated Press article, Gore said he stuck by Apple until "finally, the delay in the availability of the new high-tech applications software got to be so long that I finally switched over."

At the same time, he noted, "You know, Apple seems to be coming back with the iMac, don't you think?"

An Apple representative would not say when Gore switched back to a Mac.

Gore fills a spot that has been open since Larry Ellison left Apple's board last year. The board is fairly unique in that it has no chairman.

Apple was criticized in a BusinessWeek article last year as having one of the nation's worst boards, in part because, at the time, Jobs was on Gap's board and its CEO was on Apple's board. Jobs has since stepped down from the retailer's board. Millard Drexler, who had been Gap's CEO, remains on Apple's board but is now CEO of retailer J. Crew.