Still room for Google CEO Schmidt on Apple’s board of directors?

“Until now, having Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt sit on Apple’s board of directors has made a lot of sense. Google, the world’s largest Web-search engine, is one of the most influential companies in technology,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek.

“Google has been incredibly supportive of Apple’s flagship computer, the Mac, and has developed a lot of software for Apple’s music-playing iPhone, notably a tool that lets users watch video from Google’s YouTube site,” Hesseldahl writes. “Why wouldn’t Apple, an innovative creator of hardware and software for Web-enabled computers, music players, and cell phones, want Schmidt’s informed viewpoint on the Internet and its evolution?”

Hesseldahl writes, “Google is also increasingly becoming a would-be Apple competitor, making Schmidt’s membership on Apple’s board awkward, if not ultimately untenable. Concerns over a potential conflict of interest have surfaced in the tech blogosphere in the past, but the potential for rivalry takes on added urgency as Apple prepares to launch the next version of its iPhone while Google partners ready cell phones that run Google’s operating system.”

Full article here.

34 Comments

  1. If ethics were anything to go by in Business Eric Schmidt would have stepped down from Apple’s Board prior to Google announcing Android. But, as we see yet again ethics in business is just a word.

  2. This is an age old problem. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. By banding together, one can defeat or repel an enemy, however, once that is succeeded or at least in progress, the ‘friends’ start to eye each other (remember Russia and Germany early in WWII?).

    It is a timing game and I have confidence Steve will know when to ‘pull out’ before something bad happens.

  3. If they’re going to question Schmidt’s place on the board, why not question Al Gore’s as well. I mean, what in the hell does he actually do besides draw millions in stock options? At least Schmidt can say that he has influenced Google to develop some Mac and iPhone software. Another one that is absolutely useless is Bill Campbell. Apparently Al and Bill are simply F.O.S. (Friends of Steve) and nothing more.

  4. Is Android even an iPhone competitor? If you follow the trend of technology, people are leaning more toward vertically integrated solutions like the Mac and iTunes ecosystems because they work reliably and are seamless. Android’s model is like the Windows model – software that works on many hardware systems. And phone hardware varies far more than PC hardware. I just question whether or not this is a viable venture for Google.

  5. @ Jay-Z and the rest of y’all

    There’s a way Android could be an iPhone ally and Schmidt would in that case remain on the board. It’s very simple:

    First, remember that Google is not an hardware company. So iPhone/iPod Touch could be Android compatible, and run Android applications.

  6. “Apparently Al and Bill are simply F.O.S. (Friends of Steve) and nothing more.”

    – Yeah , Steve alone decides who get´s to be in the board… (pfff…)

    And, hey, maybe Al Gore actually does a good job ?
    We all know what has happened with Apples pile of cash the last 4 years.

    = )

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