Apple boss Steve Jobs noted Eric Schmidt's departure, while lauding his contribution on Apple's board.
"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," said Jobs.
Android is Google's mobile phone operating system. Chrome OS, due to be released in 2010, is a Linux-derived computer operating system currently in development that will presumably put Google in direct competition with Apple and Microsoft.
With Google increasingly encroaching on Apple's business, Schmidt's departure has been a matter of intense speculation. But as recently as May, Schmidt said at Google's annual shareholders meeting that he had no intention of stepping down.
Schmidt's presence on Apple's board even raised the interest of the Federal Trade Commission, which started an investigation as to whether it was a violation of federal antitrust legislation which prevents "interlocking directorates" between companies that may be rivals, if such an arrangement reduces competition between them.