The Google/Apple Rivalry Deepens: Erich Schmidt Resigns
Article by George Norman
On 04 Aug 2009
Things between Google and Apple have not been looking all that rosy recently, not with Apple rejecting Google’s native Latitude app and forcing the Mountain View-based company to put out a Google Latitude for iPhone web app. And they are especially not rosy after Apple denied the official Google Voice app access to the app store – incident which brought the feds knocking on Apple’s door (mainly the FCC started an inquiry into why Apple rejected the app).

Now it seems that the rivalry between the two companies is getting deeper, I dare say even deeper than the Skype source code squabble . Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, who also took a seat on Apple’s Board of Directors, is now stepping down from the position he occupied with Apple. He took the position on Apple’s board back in 2006, meaning that his resignation comes precisely 3 years after joining the Apple team.


Apart from the recent Google Latitude and Google Voice incidents, what seems to be the other reasons for Schimdt’s departure? Steve Jobs himself confirmed that it’s because Google has entered the operating system world with the Android and Chrome OS. I'd add the Chrome web browser, which eats into Apple’s Safari market share.

“Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful. 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.”

IntoMobile’s Stefan Constantinescu has another, way more funny view into what Steve Jobs may have said to Eric Schmidt when they “mutually decided” to part ways: “Yo Eric, we can’t have you chilling with us in the board room, smoking cigars and shit, while we talk about how we’re going to dominate the market. It was cool when you made the internet a better place, and then when you tried to digg into Microsoft’s share of the productivity software market, but now you want to make a mobile phone and desktop OS. The exit is behind the replica statue of Michelangelo’s David, but with my head on the body. Now get the f**k out before I go search for my shotgun and hit I’m feeling lucky. Punk.”

There are some that see Eric Schmidt’s departure from Apple has a good thing – mainly the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC commends Schmidt resignation, but says it will not stop looking into the strange relationship between Apple and Google.

“We have been investigating the Google/Apple interlocking directorates issue for some time and commend them for recognizing that sharing directors raises competitive issues, as Google and Apple increasingly compete with each other. We will continue to investigate remaining interlocking directorates between the companies,” said Bureau of Competition Director, Richard Feinstein.

Tags: Apple, Google, Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, CEO, FCC, Federal Communications Commission
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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