A former Google employee and informant with TechCrunch has reported that when Google CEO Eric Schmidt was on the Apple Board of Directors, the two companies agreed not to poach from each other. Google Inc. has been hit pretty hard by Facebook poaching their employees and Palm Inc. recently installed a former Apple executive as their CEO.
The agreement was never made official or written, but it was an understanding. The understanding was even made clear to Google’s recruiters according to the TechCrunch informant.
The primary reason why Google CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down from the Apple Board of Directors was due to the increase in competition between the two companies. After Schmidt joined the Board of Directors, Google announced a new browser, a mobile operating system, an application store for their mobile phones, and an upcoming operating system. Apple has all of these products and services themselves.
Apple did not pay Eric Schmidt for being a board member, but he did receive several Apple products as compensation.