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Schmidt loves to talk down Apple at any opportunity, but he is not shy about his admiration of Steve Jobs. At an event last night, in the run up to the release of Schmidt’s book How Google Works, he was asked about who he looks up to. He only said one name.

Via CNET, Schmidt said:

“For me, it’s easy. Steve Jobs,” he said in a quiet, contemplative voice.

“We could all aspire to be a small percentage of Steve,”

“Exceptional people are worth hanging out with,” Schmidt said on Thursday. “Because there is a good chance they are going to change the world.”

Only yesterday was Schmidt dissing Apple for its inferior security and encryption practices, but it’s important to remember that Apple and Google were good partners a few years ago. Famously, Eric Schmidt was on stage at the iPhone event, the only non-Apple employee to feature in the iPhone keynote aside from AT&T’s representation.

(Image from Gizmodo, 2010)

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