The departure of Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, from Apple's board earlier today was not surprising given the fact that the mounting pressure on the shoulders of Novell's former supremo to decide which partner he wanted to tango with.
A close analysis of the press release issued from Cupertino shows exactly why this happened. Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, says that “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.”
Forget about Google taking on Microsoft, Apple and the search giant are set to engage in a death match that will see two of the world's most iconic brands fight to become the ruler of the ever converging world of technology.
The fact that Schmidt has to stand out of more meetings than ever before means that Apple is likely to release MORE products and services that compete with Google's offerings. This could also explains why Schmidt was not asked to leave EVEN as Apple was developing the iPhone, Mac OS, the App Store and Safari.
Apple could be looking to beef up its online consumer presence, something that it is sorely lacking. The giant is currently sitting on a mountain of cash and assets worth more than $48 billion as of the end of June 2009 and may be looking forward to acquire a few technology companies.
So what company could Apple buy? Well what about Yahoo! We're already written on this possibility back in November 2008 (5 reasons why Apple Will Buy Yahoo) before Microsoft struck that "historical agreement" with Yahoo! Now if Apple purchased Yahoo, repackaged it and "sold" it better as Apple's Web services.
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Eric Schmidt is worth around $4.4 billion thanks partly to the shares he received as the Chief Operating Officer at Google. He is one of the few people who have become billionaires based on stock options received as an employee in a corporation of which neither he nor a relative was the founder.