The peaceful rivalry between Apple and Google seems to be finally over. In a move that didn’t surprise many folks in the tech industry, Google CEO stepped down (or rather ousted) from Apple’s board of directors. Google and Apple have been going back and forth over a few issues in the past couple of weeks, and it’s finally clear that Apple understands Google’s threat to its business. Steve Jobs was certainly not being too shy about the reason why Schmidt was leaving Apple’s board:
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
Google Voice seems to be the final straw that broke the camel’s back. Apple and AT&T are already in trouble for rejecting Google Voice, and things may even get nasty over GV. And let’s not forget Google Chrome OS and Android phones can cause Apple headaches in the future. So in a sense, it does make a lot of sense for Google’s CEO to leave Apple’s board of directors. But it’s been surprising how Apple has gone about this process.
Apple should have asked for Schmidt to step down a while ago, before any of these recent issues came out. Apple should have also been more clear about its app policy. Maybe that could have caused less headaches for the company. But the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google and Apple are at it in courts in the near future. That’s usually what happens when two companies compete too hard.
Your take: is Schmidt’s removal the right move by Apple?