Since the announcement of its Chrome OS on Tuesday there has been a growing drumbeat calling for Eric Schmidt to step down from Apple's Board of Directors, and I agree. Schmidt has got to go.
A day after the announcement that Google would battle Microsoft and Apple in the desktop operating system market, CNet's Tom Krazit has been one of Schmidt's most vocal critics, calling for him to step down from Apple's board.
Krazit's logic is sound, arguing since Google's forthcoming Chrome OS compete with Mac OS X, a conflict exists with his presence on Apple's Board and that the companies are on a "collision course."
Would Microsoft ask Schmidt to be on its board? Not in this lifetime.
Schmidt has already acknowledged that he's recused himself from Apple's discussion of the iPhone, but is that enough? How long was he present during meetings about the iPhone while Android was still in secret development? This in and of itself is enough to remove Schmidt from the Apple board.
Now Google's developing an OS and will be a direct competitor to Apple. Will Schmidt recuse himself from all discussions of Mac OS X too? I sure hope so. The question that remains is what's left for Schmidt to sit in on? Which brings me to my point: What value does he bring to the Apple board?
Little collaboration has occurred between Google and Apple since Schmidt joined the Apple Board in August 2006 short of its release of the Maps application for the iPhone in 2007. Google docs and spreadsheets can't be edited on the iPhone, Chrome (the browser) still isn't available for the Mac, and Latitude doesn't work on the iPhone either.
What do you think? Should Apple fish or cut bait on Schmidt?
Update: Reuters reports that Schmidt will discuss with Apple "how his role on its board might change after Google's move to launch a new operating system."