Eric Schmidt steps down as Google chairman

One of Google’s longest-standing leaders is stepping down from his role at the tech giant.

Eric Schmidt steps down as Google chairman

Eric Schmidt, who joined Google in 2001 and has been its CEO and, more recently, its executive chairman, will step down in January to pursue projects in science, technology and philanthropy.

He’s not leaving the company completely, though. He will remain on the Alphabet board as a technical adviser on science and technology issues. 

 In a tweet, Schmidt wrote: “After ten years as CEO and seven as Executive Chairman, I can’t wait to dive into the latest in science, technology, and philanthropy. I look forward to working with Larry and Sergey on our future here at Alphabet.”

Larry and Sergey refer to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. 

In an official statement from Alphabet, the company told investors: “As of its next regular board meeting in January 2018, Eric Schmidt will be transitioning from his position as executive chairman of the board of directors, becoming a technical advisor to the company while continuing to serve on its board.”

“Larry, Sergey, Sundar [Pichai] and I all believe the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition. The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving,” Schmidt added. “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.”

The company said it now plans to appoint a non-executive chairman to the board in Schmidt’s place.

Google was founded as a search company in 1998 by Page and Brin and Schmidt joined as chief executive in 2001. He became chairman in 2011.

In 2015, Google restructured under a new parent company called Alphabet, and Schmidt continued his role as chairman but of the wider company. 

Image: Shutterstock

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