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Schmidt dodges talk of becoming future Apple CEO

updated 12:55 pm EST, Tue February 1, 2011

Google chair not confirming, denying recruitment

Google chairman Eric Schmidt is sidestepping discussion of whether he might become the next Apple CEO. "In the first place, it's not appropriate. Steve [Jobs] is still the CEO and I hope he continues forever," Schmidt told CNBC in a Monday interview. In response to whether or not Apple has approached him to make an offer, however, Schmidt would neither confirm or deny the suggestion. "I'm not going to talk about private conversations with anybody," the chairman is quoted as saying.

Jobs is presently on an indefinite medical leave, also his third leave since 2004, when he was first treated for pancreatic cancer. The situation has prompted worries that Jobs might never return to the company full-time, leaving a critical gap given his past intimate involvement with daily operations. The executive was often said to provide micromanagement as well as broad directions on some projects.

Schmidt could be in a unique position to replace Jobs. Although Apple and Google have come into conflict in recent years, predominantly because of smartphone rivalry, the two companies are still closely connected through Google search and mapping features in Apple software. Schmidt also recently relinquished CEO duties at Google, which could put him in a position to jump to Apple if Jobs suddenly retires or dies.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Eric, we love you!

    Come to Apple to make us a great company again.

  1. PRoth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So Schmidt was the sleeper agent at Google all along! That Jobs is a crafty one... now he can retire to some sunny island, check his iPhone once a week and keep the company rollin in it! I mean Schmidt is a bit creepy, but then again, Jobs has his moments too... In fact, all CEOs seem a bit whacky. I mean all that power, all that money, leads to some abnormalities, doesn't it?

  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Helter Skelter

    Seems like a nice personable intelligent guy.
    However his adherence or ability to produce a master plan is suspect. If board and senior management could keep him focused and on message he would do better than most.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @starwarrior what Google are you watching?

    LOL, you have some question about Eric Schmidt's ability to execute on plans?

    We may be apple fan's, but Google is hardly some unknown bumbling about, not effectively executing on plans, c'mon.

    It will be hard to follow up Jobs, especially because Apple's plans are running out of steam, the writing is on the wall, already.

    You are going to be blamed for all that - and as far as steering apple onto a different course, that coulda happened 2 years ago, its a bit late now.

  1. My Dog Wally

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The past

    I hear Gil Amelio's looking for work.

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "or dies"

    You know, some things are just not meant to be mentioned.

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "Apple's plans are running out of steam"

    Funniest thing I've heard this decade.

    My friend, they have only just laid the foundation, now it's time to build.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    perfectly played

    The way he is playing the media on this c*** is perfect. He's probably the one 'tipping' them about supposed talks. He plays it cool, but also gets his name out there. Then, when someone actually comes a-calling (for example, Microsoft), he can garner a higher price, because they need to 'outbid' Apple.

  1. mbanks

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I've always liked Schmidt (I worked at Novell during his years there) since his days at Sun but I'm not sure about how he'd handle Apple. He's brilliant, and he's a geek (he ripped the engineers at Novell for not running over pure TCP/IP, and he would run the protocol analyzer himself to check it.) But he's certainly no Jobs. SJ has been THE visionary at Apple, and IMHO Apple needs a visionary with complete control to continue how they've been going. Otherwise, Apple would cease to be the Apple we know.

  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What Google are you Watching

    The one with the hodge podge of Android wheels coming off.

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