Google Chairman Eric Schmidt may have a reputation for colorful off-the-cuff remarks, but reports that the exec said he was on Apple’s board of directors until he couldn’t “stand the board anymore” were based on a mistranscription that completely changed the tone of his remarks.
In a Q&A with Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff, Schmidt said he left Apple’s board because he couldn’t “stay on” it any more, referring to his resignation in 2009 because of a conflict of interest. In his recent remarks, Schmidt, also former CEO of Google, had high praise for another former CEO, Steve Jobs.
“What Steve has done at Apple, it's certainly the best performance of a CEO in the world in fifty years and maybe in a hundred years,” Schmidt said. “Not only because he did this once, but he did it twice.”
He added that Jobs and Apple excel at moving to “the new platform and get it right.”
You can hear Schmidt’s remarks about the Apple board here at around the 27:23 mark:
Schmidt did, however, take a small shot at Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, when asked about the differences between the two Steves.
“Well, there’s a difference in ability,” Schimdt fired off, getting laughs from the crowd at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference before saying that he’d rather talk about the corporations than the people who work for them.