"Eric is obviously doing a terrific job as CEO of Google, and we look forward to his contributions as a member of Apple's board of directors," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. "Like Apple, Google is very focused on innovation and we think Eric's insights and experience will be very valuable in helping to guide Apple in the years ahead."
Schmidt has served previously as the chairman and CEO of Novell and as the CTO at Sun.
Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group, observes that by bringing Schmidt aboard, Apple will have access to someone who understands the new world of ad-supported software. "Apple has chosen a guy that has bridged the old world and the new world," he says.