“Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in the press release. “Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple’s core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest. Therefore, we have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple’s Board.”
Source: Apple Inc.
Just on Friday, The Mercury News posted an interview with Schmidt that addresssed the Apple Board question. His response shows that up until very recently, Schmidt still thought he’d be able to remain on Apple’s Board. This leads us to believe that, despite the press release’s characterization of a “mutual” decision, ’twas Apple, not Schmidt, that decided it was time for him to go ‘bye ‘bye:
Q: Google and Apple are increasingly in the same businesses, namely operating systems for mobile phones and now with the announcement of the Chrome OS, personal computers. Is it also becoming increasingly problematic for you to be on Apple’s board?
A: I am not sure about the board question. The board question can be solved by recusing yourself, which I do with the iPhone. It is also important to remember that unlike Microsoft and Google, Apple and Google have a lot of technical partnerships. The underpinnings of Chrome are the same as that of Apple’s Safari browser. There is a lot of collaboration around Web standards. We collaborate on the maps area. We have a large number of iPhone apps. There are significant benefits to Apple and to Google for me to be on both boards with the caveat that you mentioned that you have to be very careful.
Full interview here.
MacDailyNews Take: Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, mole.
(Better late than never, but this should have happened the day Google announced Android.)