Google head quits Apple board

Google's Eric Schmidt has stepped down from Apple's board over 'conflicts of interest'.

Eric Schmidt

Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple's board, because the two firms now compete in too many areas.

Previously, the concern was that they didn't compete enough, as Schmidt's position on the board earlier this year sparked an anti-trust investigation by the American Federal Trade Commission.

Google recently announced it would release its own operating system next year, while its Voice application for the iPhone was denied inclusion in Apple's App Store.

Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs said the decision was mutual.

"Eric has been an excellent board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful," Jobs said in a statement.

"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," added Jobs.

The resignation comes into effect immediately, Apple said. Schmidt sat on the Apple board for three years.

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