MOUNTAIN VIEW – Eric Schmidt is stepping down next month as Executive Chairman of Alphabet and will become a technical advisor to the company. He will continue to serve on Alphabet’s Board of Directors. Alphabet is the parent company of Google and YouTube.
Schmidt, 61, served as CEO of Google from 2001-2011 and helped lead the company to its 2004 IPO and become one of the world’s most powerful tech companies. He was Executive Chairman for the past seven years. Google changed its company name to Alphabet in 2015. Schmidt holds over 4.5 million shares of Alphabet stock worth over $4.7 billion. Forbes lists his net worth at over $11 billion.
“Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology,” said Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet. “Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he’ll now be helping us as a technical advisor on science and technology issues. I’m incredibly excited about the progress our companies are making, and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation.”
“Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that 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,” said Eric Schmidt. “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.”
“Over 17 years, Eric has been tremendously effective and tireless in guiding our Board, particularly as we restructured from Google to Alphabet. He’ll now be able to bring that same focus and energy to his other passions, while continuing to advise Alphabet,” said John Hennessy, a member of Alphabet’s Board since 2004 and the lead independent director since 2007.
The company anticipates that the Board will appoint a non-executive chairman.