Jobs Announces Schmidt’s Departure From Apple

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Apple boss Steve Jobs had admitted that there are now too many conflicts of interest for Google’s chief executive to serve on his board

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has decided to step down from his board of director role at Apple amid concerns about increasing competition between the two companies as their products continue to overlap.

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In a statement released today, Schmidt appears to have succumbed to the increasing noise being generated around his senior positions at both Google and Apple. The catalyst for much of the controversy was the recent announcement that Google would be extending its operating system business from merely being a mobile platform with its Android technology – to a PC operating system known as Chrome OS.

In a statement explaining Schmidt’s decision, Apple boss Steve Jobs, himself the subject of media scrutiny of late over recent health scares, admitted that the Google chief executive had been forced to sit out too many company meetings of late due to conflict of interest concerns.

“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.”

in May, The New York Times said the Federal Trade Commission was looking into whether Schmidt’s place on Apple’s board violates Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914. Specifically, Section 8 of the act prohibits “interlocking directorates,” or an individual’s presence on the board of two rival companies when it would reduce competition between those two companies.

No statement had been released by Google on the issue at the time of writing.


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