Dear Eric: You’re dead to me

Tag him and bag him, boys, because Squirrel Boy is finished around here. I called him last night and told him, and he agreed. Katie says I should have talked to her first because we need to think about how this is going to look when the hacks start reacting to the announcement. I was like, Who says we have to announce it? She says we’re a public company, he’s a member of the board, so it’s material. I’m like, I don’t know about that, maybe we should talk to a bunch of lawyers and just keep getting more opinions until we find someone who says it’s not material and we don’t have to announce it. Or better yet, just get me Larry Sonsini. He’ll do it.

She says even if we don’t announce it, the hacks will notice that Eric is no longer listed on our board of directors page. I said that’s the thing, we won’t take him off the page. We won’t do anything. We just leave everything the way it is. She says what if Squirrel Boy goes rogue and starts telling people that he’s off the board? I said that’s easy, we run him over with a car. She goes, what if for some reason people just start asking about Eric and whether he has left the board? What do we do then?

I looked at her and I was like, Who are you and what have you done with Katie Cotton? Honestly, Katie, did you have a stroke or something? Because this is like PR 101, okay? If anyone calls, you just say we don’t comment on speculation, or we don’t talk about rumors. Either that or you say we don’t discuss personnel issues, because it’s a privacy issue, and we think the hacks are being total scumbags for not respecting Eric’s privacy. Then we get Jim Goldman to go on CNBC and say that his deep sources inside Apple have assured him that Eric Schmidt is indeed still on the board.

If the hacks still persist in asking, we make up some statement that doesn’t mean anything, like, “Eric is a talented executive and an important contributor,” and we tell Dowling to just keep repeating it, over and over again, until they give up.

Katie says, But Steve, wouldn’t that be kind of like lying? I looked at her. Then she goes, Ha! Got you! And we both burst out laughing.

Anyway, you may or may not see anything on our Web site or in our filings to the SEC, but trust me — Eric is gone.