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Old 08-03-2009, 03:28 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Google's Eric Schmidt Resigns from Apple's Board of Directors

From our front-page news:
When Google's Chief Executive Officer, Eric Schmidt, joined Apple's Board of Directors in 2006, it seemed like a sensible move on both ends. At that time, Google was not considered a competitor to Apple, but almost a compliment, and vice versa, since Google readily supported Apple. Most important, though, is that both companies had a similar goal in mind... to become crucial competition to Microsoft's core markets.

In the past two years, though, Google has changed their focus in a lot of ways, and as it stands, they're producing products that actually do compete with Apple in some regards. This became ultimately clear last week when it was discovered that Apple denied Google's Voice iPhone application, which we can only assume was decided as a result of it "duplicating" iPhone's features, aka: competing with iPhone's features.

As that news came forth, the FCC issued a request for information from Apple, AT&T and Google regarding the issue, and that might have caused some immediate action to take place. As of today, Eric is no longer on the BoD, and the reason given by Steve Jobs is, "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."

It's hard to not disagree with that, because after all, that's exactly the path that Google is going. Google is a company that thrives on being "open", in that all platforms should be free of restrictions to allow some cool things to happen, thanks to dedicated developers. Apple's of the opposite mindset. So, it was only a matter of time before the opinions of both companies clashed head-on. If you're curious about Apple's current Board of Directors, you can check out the respective page.

Apple is not about being open. It never has been. Every app on the iPhone (all 50,000 of them) must be approved individually, for instance. This difference in approach wasn't a problem until Google started to have mobile aspirations of its own. Asked to choose between furthering Apple's mobile agenda or Google's, Schmidt must choose Google's. It is his fiduciary duty. That conflict is only going to grow. And that is perhaps why Jobs says his "effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished."

Source: TechCrunch
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