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(Adds details on Microsoft's courtship of Mulally)
SAN FRANCISCO, July 15 (Reuters) - Google Inc has appointed former Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally to its board of directors, drafting a seasoned Detroit executive into its ranks as it develops a self-driving car and tries to get its software into more automobiles.
Mulally, once deemed a strong contender for the top job at Microsoft Corp, joins venture capitalist John Doerr, former Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini and VMWare co-founder Diane Greene on the board of the Internet advertising leader.
Mulally on July 1 handed Ford's helm to Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields, six months earlier than expected.
He had been expected to seek another high-profile post thereafter. The 68-year-old former Boeing Co executive is credited with transforming the No. 2 U.S. automaker from a money-loser to a company that expects to realize a pretax profit of up to $8 billion this year.
His auto industry expertise may come in handy as Google engages Detroit, hoping that its Android software will become the standard platform for everything from messaging to media in cars. The Silicon Valley company has also pursued its vision of self-driving cars, though largely on its own.
Mulally will also serve on Google's audit committee. The board is chaired by Eric Schmidt.
"Alan brings a wealth of proven business and technology leadership experience," Google CEO Larry Page said in a blogpost. (here) (Reporting by San Francisco newsroom; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)