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Schmidt has served on the board since August of 2006. Speculation arose earlier this month that the unveiling of Google's new operating system, Chrome OS, might force the company's chief executive to resign. Monday, that prediction came true.
"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."
Tension between Google and Apple developed last week, when Apple rejected the Google-developed Voice application from the iPhone App Store. Apple also began pulling third-party Voice applications. As a result, Apple and Google, along with AT&T, are currently the subjects of an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission.
Schmidt already had to recuse himself from board meetings that involved iPhone plans, many of which would clash with Google's own attempts to promote its Android mobile operating system. Though the Google executive was adamant that the two companies don't occupy the same markets, the Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the Apple-Google link for a possible violation of antitrust laws through unfair collaboration.