If it seems like just yesterday that Apple and Google were at each other’s throats, that’s because they were — Tim Cook and Eric Schmidt have been trading blows in recent weeks in regards to privacy and security, with each executive claiming that their company is more secure than the other. The issue remains unresolved, but Schmidt took a break from the feud on Thursday night during a promotional event for his new book, How Google Works.

When asked who his heroes were in the tech industry, Schmidt pointed to one man:

“For me, it’s easy. Steve Jobs,” he told the crowd at the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley. “We could all aspire to be a small percentage of Steve.”

Through all the controversy, all the back-and-forth about Android and iOS and the countless legal battles, Jobs and Schmidt managed to maintain a friendship. It’s clear that Schmidt still holds Steve Jobs in the highest regard. CNET notes that Schmidt was invited to be a part of Apple’s board in 2006, but once the mobile industry began to dominate the businesses of both Apple and Google, Schmidt stepped down.

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

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