When Steve Jobs “broke up” with Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Mon, Mar 22, 2010


Valleywag has a gossip-laden article detailing the origins of Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt’s rocky working relationship. Now you might think that that we here at Edible Apple are above such reporting, but you’d be wrong. So here goes.

According to one of Schmidt’s former mistress’s (apparently dude gets around), the seeds of Jobs’ hatred for Schmidt were planted, not surprisingly, right around the time rumors regarding Google’s ambitions in the smartphone market became apparent. When Jobs caught onto Google’s game, he called up Schmidt, who at the time, was travelling to the the Burning Man festival in Nevada.

Schmidt’s mobile phone rang on the highway between Reno and Burning Man’s movable city in Black Rock Desert. It was Jobs, angry. The call then dropped; bad signal, middle of nowhere. The disconnect couldn’t be blamed on a flaky iPhone connection: Schmidt had long ago given up on the Apple handset because he couldn’t stand the on-screen keyboard. His wife had tested a prototype, but didn’t care to keep it. Schmidt, we’re told, ended up giving his iPhone to Bohner as a gift.

Schmidt located a convenience store and used a pay phone to call Jobs back. The Apple CEO “shouted” at Schmidt and “railed” at him, furious about his smartphone plans and duplicity, said our source. After all, Schmidt sat on Apple’s board and was supposed to be a partner on the iPhone, providing internet services like maps.

Schmidt, enduring the abuse, visibly lost his composure; his face went “weird,” said our source.

“Steve was very, very upset,” Schmidt is said to have later told his companion Bohner. “My God, he was so angry.”

Now that’s some grade A gossip, right there. Jobs temper is legendary, and stories of him laying into people are as old as Apple itself. More recently, though, Jobs had reportedly turned over a gentler more kinder leaf, but this story goes to show that Jobs can still tear someone a new a-hole when need be.

Interestingly, and somewhat sadly, Valleywag goes on to describe Schmidt as a man simply in search of some friends, and as someone long seeking the approval and friendship of Steve Jobs, only to come up short time and time again.

Schmidt’s own regard for Jobs ran so deep that, in a statement provided to theĀ Timeswhen it covered his feud with the Apple CEO, Schmidt called Jobs “the best CEO in the world today.”

And yet, even when the relationship between the two men was warmer, Schmidt felt spurned. He never did manage to finagle a long-sought dinner invitation to Jobs’ home, we’re told, though theĀ Times said the two “dined together on several occasions,” presumably over lunch or in a group setting. But Schmidt’s inability to get the sort of attention he sought “broke” him, said our source.

If you wanna check out some pretty weird photos of Schmidt and his mistress (Kate Bohner) at Burning Man circa 2007, Valleywag has the hook up over here.



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