Time for Eric Schmidt to leave Apple Board?

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    Posted: 10 July 2009 02:40 AM

    First it was Android and mobile telephones. Now it is Chrome OS.
    Clearly these are conflicts of interest.

    Is it time for Eric Schmidt to take his hat and leave Apple’s board?

     

    Google CEO says will discuss Apple board role

    “Google Inc Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said he will discuss with Apple Inc how his role on its board might change after Google’s move to launch a new operating system.

    Because Google’s new Chrome OS would compete with Apple’s own computer software, Schmidt said on Thursday he would talk to the Mac computer maker about whether he should recuse himself from Apple’s board.

    “I’ll talk to the Apple people. At the moment, there’s no issue,” Schmidt told reporters at a Sun Valley media and technology conference”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSTRE5690G320090710

         
  • Posted: 10 July 2009 03:09 AM #1

    Of course.  Yes.  Now.

         
  • Posted: 10 July 2009 05:11 AM #2

    Its time for Eric to leave the Board when Steve Jobs says it time.

    All of those who think otherwise should apply for the CEO position at Apple.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

         
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    Posted: 10 July 2009 05:17 AM #3

    I don’t see there being a huge amount of conflict. If you take Psystar’s reasoning, Apple has a monopoly in Macs and Mac OS X. Chrome OS isn’t going to change that. Google aims to compete in a market that Apple does not: low-priced crap. It’s only Linux geared towards web usage. The way people are going on, you’d think Chrome OS is the second coming.

    Apple/NeXT have put approximately 15 years of development into OS X. I doubt Google will overhaul that any time soon, even using Linux as a starting point and having Eric on the board.

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  • Posted: 10 July 2009 08:32 AM #4

    There are conflicts short term. But the big picture is to build a world where the Microsoft monopoly story can’t happen again, and Apple can continue to innovate indefinitely. When MS is below 50% market share, then we can start to think of Google and Apple as competitors rather than allies.

    His legal obligations as a director are themselves some protection from Apple being blind-sided by Google. If Schmidt wasn’t on the board, he wouldn’t have to say if a true conflict of interest were about to develop.

         
  • Posted: 10 July 2009 11:46 AM #5

    Google provides free, ad supported search services and is developing a free OS for primarily limited-use netbooks. Netbooks don’t compete with Macintoshes due to a lack of overlap in price tiers and Google does not manufacture hardware devices. Apple does not create nor sell an operating system for use on PCs other than those of its own making.

    Microsoft has a legal monopoly (as determined by the Federal courts - first determined a legal monopoly at the Federal District Court level and the determination was held up on appeal by a Federal Circuit Court). As long as Microsoft maintains functional monopoly status in the OS market the two companies are allied in developing alternative operating systems and the two companies are currently allied on far more fronts than they might be considered to theoretically compete.

         
  • Posted: 10 July 2009 11:56 AM #6

    Mike in Helsinki - 10 July 2009 08:11 AM

    Its time for Eric to leave the Board when Steve Jobs says it time.

    All of those who think otherwise should apply for the CEO position at Apple.

    And that’s all I have to say about that.

    +1

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