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(Pocket-lint) - Google's chief executive, Eric Schmidt, has resigned from Apple's board of directors. Conflicts of interest are blamed, as Google has entered an increasing number of markets that Apple competes in.

Since Google launched its G1 mobile phone and Android operating system, Schmidt had to recuse himself from any decisions involving the iPhone. However, since Google has also entered the web browser and operating system markets, his position has become increasingly untenable.


Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: "Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful".

"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".

Schmidt has said in the past that despite an antitrust investigation starting against him, he doesn't see Apple as a primary competitor". Evidently he's had a recent change of heart, or the company is planning to take on Apple further in as-yet unannounced projects. One director remains on the board of both companies - Arthur Levinson, the CEO of biotech company Genenech.

Writing by Duncan Geere.