NPR logo Google's Eric Schmidt Leaves Apple Board


Google's Eric Schmidt Leaves Apple Board

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt at the annual Allen & Co.'s media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, Thursday, July 9, 2009. ( Nati Harnik/AP Photo hide caption

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Nati Harnik/AP Photo

Looks like it's game on between Google and Apple Inc. with the announcement today that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is leaving Apple's board of directors.

Schmidt, an Apple board member since 2006, has apparently had to increasingly recuse himself during board meetings because of all the inroads Google has made and continues to make into Apple's business lines, like the mobile phone business and computer operating systems.

With the future looking as though Schmidt would have to excuse himself and leave the meeting room even more going forward, it was thought best that he just leave the board entirely.

A snippet from Apple's press release:

"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."

The battle between the high-tech giants has been heating up, with the latest salvo being Apple's rejection of the Google Voice application for the iPhone. It pulled Google Voice-related aps from the Apple Store.

The Federal Communications Department has reportedly sent letters to Apple, AT&T (which has an exclusivity agreement to provide wireless service for iPhones) and Google inquiring into the circumstances surrounding the Google Voice ban.