Google CEO Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple’s board of directors, Apple announced Monday.
“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.”
Some believed Schmidt’s presence on Apple’s board gained early favoritism for Google’s voice-search app in the App Store and much speculation in recent months centered around Schmidt’s continued effectiveness on the board — for many of the reasons Jobs referred to in this morning’s announcement.
Some began to question the relationship between the two companies even more seriously with Apple’s recent rejection of Google’s Voice application for the iPhone, but at least now, with ties between the two companies severed at the directors’ level, their status as competitors has a more legitimate public face.