Google CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple’s Board of Directors. Given the conflicts of interest, this is not unexpected — Schmidt had already recused himself from any iPhone discussion, and now that Google is getting into the OS business, I guess that would leave Schmidt free to talk about hardware.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs issued a statement confirming Schmidt’s departure as well as offering praise for Schmidt’s past work on the board:
“Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful,” Jobs said. “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.”
While we are now free to discuss how “mutual” the decision was — it’s been my experience any “mutual decision” for a separation is a “mutually decided upon bundle of cash as we kick your sorry butt out the door” — I much prefer Fake Steve Jobs’ take on the situation.