It’s a fact: Justin’s Long’s smarmy “I’m a Mac” jackassery doesn’t sit well with the PC crowd. As it turns out, the patronizing hipster persona worn so well by Long in those commercials might not have been an entirely fictional creation. Could he have been the personification of the members of Apple’s board? Probably not, but Google Chairman Eric Schmidt doesn’t paint a pretty picture of his stint as an Apple director.
"I was on the board until I couldn't stand the board anymore," Schmidt told Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff during an interview at the Dreamforce 2011 conference yesterday afternoon. Ouch! There’s no taking those words two ways. Bloomberg reports that the tension arose as Google and Apple started competing more and more in the marketplace. The Goog’s expansion into Android and Chrome OS stepped on toes in Cupertino and Schmidt resigned from Apple’s board in 2009. But even if he couldn’t stand the waves of seething anger radiating off his former fellow directors, Schmidt still holds a lot of respect for Steve Jobs.
“What Steve has done at Apple is certainly the best performance of a CEO for over fifty years, maybe a hundred years,” Schmidt said. He didn’t follow up with “Too bad about the rest of those schmucks on the board,” although he must have been thinking it.
Update: Apparently, Bloomberg got it wrong. The link above is dead because Schmidt claims he said "I was on the board until I couldn't stay on the board anymore." Bloomberg killed the original story and altered their other reports to get rid of the erroneous quote used as the basis for this article. That's one heck of a transcribing error -- "stand" and "stay on" don't really sound the same to our ears.