Monday, March 22, 2010

Exclusive: How Google's Eric Schmidt Lost His Mistress, His Partner and Steve Jobs - Eric Schmidt - Gawker:

Schmidt's feelings for Jobs had gone beyond admiration long ago: He wanted his approval, and even his friendship. Schmidt knew how to make a large enterprise like Google function more efficiently, but Jobs seemed able to change the whole world for the better. Brin and Page, who operate with Schmidt as Google's executive triumvirate, were big fans. They considered Jobs a mentor, very openly cited him as a role model, visited his office and (in the case of Brin) even went on walks with the charismatic Apple co-founder, according to Stone's Times article.

Schmidt's own regard for Jobs ran so deep that, in a statement provided to the Times when 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 the 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.

What is next for the Brin-Schmidt relationship is unclear. But it's hard not to look at history for clues, and to brace for the explosion.

Not that we hope for such an end. Jaded gossips that we are, we can't help but feel a twinge of empathy for Schmidt. The Google boss might have hypocritical views on privacy and an all-too-arrogant approach to users' concerns, but he aches for true friends. "I don't think he had any," our source said. It's a feeling of empty loneliness familiar to many of us who are enmeshed in social networks and broadband grids, blogs and microblogs, emails and IMs, sending so many messages and making so few connections.

3:51 PM