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Google CEO Dr. Eric Schmidt Resigns From Apple’s Board of Directors

August 3, 2009

Apple today announced that Google CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down today from Apple’s Board of Directors, a role that many said created conflicts of interest as Apple and Google rival each other in multiple market sectors.

In particular, Google Android is a direct competitor to Apple’s iPhone ecosystem, while the upcoming Chrome OS will create some conflict in the operating system market. And just last week the FCC began looking into Apple’s rejection of the Google Voice app from the App Store. Schmidt was under increasing pressure to deal with the conflict, and it seems he’s made his move today.

For his part, Schmidt accepted Apple’s rationale for his need to leave. “I have very much enjoyed my time on the Apple Board,” he said in a statement. “It’s a fantastic company. But as Apple explained today, we’ve agreed it makes sense for me to step down now.”

Schmidt has been on the Apple board since August 2006. Apple did not announce a new board member to take Schmidt’s place or a timeline for filling the vacancy.

Two other current members of Apple’s board also have ties to Google. Former Vice President Al Gore, for example, is on Apple’s board and is a senior advisor to Google, while Arthur Levinson, the former chairman and CEO of Genentech, is on the boards of both companies.

The news of Schmidt’s stepping down was announced via a press release on Apple’s website. It reads:

Dr. Eric Schmidt Resigns from Apple’s Board of Directors

CUPERTINO, California—August 3, 2009—Apple® today announced that Dr. Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google, is resigning from Apple’s Board of Directors, a position he has held since August 2006.

“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. “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.”

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2009 2:16 PM

    This site rocks!

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