Eric Schmidt resigns from Apple board, citing multiple conflicts

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Al Gore and Eric Schmidt in February at an announcement for Google Earth. Schmidt has quit his post on Apple’s board. Gore remains on the Apple board. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press.

Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has resigned from his post as board member of Apple, a position he’s held since August 2006.


The announcement, made this morning by Apple, comes after the Federal Communications Commission said last week it would look into Apple’s refusal to distribute the Google Voice application on its iTunes store.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs, in a statement, said the decision comes as Google and Apple increasingly enter each other’s sectors:

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.

Schmidt’s role as an Apple board member has also been the subject of an inquiry by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, confirmed in May, over the potential conflicts of interest.

--Alex Pham

Follow my random thoughts on games, gear and technology on Twitter @AlexPham.