Google CEO Schmidt steps down from Apple board

Schmidt's effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be "significantly diminished"

It was only a matter of time, but Google CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple's board of directors.

Schmidt, who joined Google in 2001, has served Apple's board since August 2006.

A statement from Apple fully acknowledges that the two companies are increasingly competing in the same spaces, particularly with Google's Android-powered phones and upcoming Chrome OS taking on the iPhone and Macs, respectively.

"Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple's core businesses . . . 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," Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said. "Therefore, we have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple's Board."

The U.S. government was reportedly on the way to reaching a similar conclusion. In May, a New York Times story said the Federal Trade Commission was investigating the shared members between Apple's and Google's boards as a potential violation of the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914. Schmidt said at the time that he doubted the government would find anything wrong about the situation. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Schmidt was thinking of leaving.

In addition to Schmidt, former Genetech CEO Arthur Levinson serves on both boards. The announcement by Apple makes no mention of Levinson.

Apple's also taking heat for blocking Google Voice apps from the iPhone's App Store. The FTC was quick to act there, investigating the situation just days after the event. That issue is more about Apple's store policies than any relationship with Google, but the drama illustrates how the two companies are increasingly at odds, and how it's landing on the radar of regulators.

It's hard to imagine many situations in which Schmidt wouldn't recuse himself during an Apple board meeting. In addition to competing on handset and computer operating systems, the companies also butt heads on applications such as Web browsers (Chrome and Safari), productivity software (iWork vs. Google Docs and other apps) and video services (YouTube and iTunes), among others. Regardless of whether the shared board members violates the law, Apple is better served with a board member who can actually participate.

With Apple and Google pushing away from each other, the question now is whether we'll see more bad blood between the two companies. Google has recently begun sniping at Microsoft in an ad campaign. Apple could be next.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleAppleAndroidiPhoneeric schmidt

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?