Eric Schmidt Steps Down as Alphabet Executive Chairman

Eric Schmidt Steps Down as Alphabet Executive Chairman

Eric Schmidt Steps Down as Alphabet Executive Chairman

The longtime executive will transition to becoming a technical advisor at the company's regular board meeting in January.

Schmidt, who was Google's CEO for a decade before taking over the chairman role and helping oversee Google's transition into Alphabet, will remain on the company's board, but in a "technical advisor" role focused on science and tech projects.

Mr Schmidt first joined Google as CEO back in 2001 when the company only had several hundred employees.

No reason was provided for the change.

Google's Eric Schmidt stepping down as executive chairman of Alphabet
Eric Schmidt is stepping down as the executive chairman of Alphabet

That would seem to consolidate the power of the company's co-founders, Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Alphabet President Sergey Brin. "The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving", said Eric Schmidt.

John Hennessy, a member of Alphabet's board since 2004, said: "Over 17 years, Eric has been tremendously effective and tireless in guiding our board, particularly as we restructured from Google to Alphabet".

"In recent years, I've been spending a lot of my time on science and technology issues, and philanthropy, and I plan to expand that work", Schmidt said in a release.

Schmidt was hired as the company's first outside CEO in 2001, having previously served as CEO of Novell, a now-defunct Utah-based software company.

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The group also owns the Other Bets unit, which includes the Waymo driverless auto business and the Project Loon WiFi-enabled weather balloon venture.

Sundar Pichai was promoted to chief of Google, which includes leading online video-sharing service YouTube. Schmidt joked when he stepped down in 2011 that "day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!" The company expects to replace him with a non-executive chairman.

Schmidt ranks among the world's richest people.

Schmidt is also known to speak out on technology issues, expressing concerns about matters such as online spying and barriers to the free-flow of data.

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