Eric Schmidt steps down as Alphabet’s executive chairman

Eric Schmidt, top, and Alphabet co-founders Sergey Brin, left, and Larry Page at the company’s headquarters in 2004.

Former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt announced Thursday he has stepped down from his role as executive chairman of the search giant’s parent company Alphabet.

Schmidt, who served as Google’s CEO from 2001 to 2011, will remain on Alphabet’s board of directors while also serving as a “technical advisor,” the company said in a statement.

“Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition,” Schmidt said in a statement, referring to Alphabet’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Google’s current chief executive Sundar Pichai. “The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving. 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 plans to appoint a new chairman to the board.


Schmidt had a long career in the technology industry before he joined Google. With managerial and executive experience at companies such as Sun Microsystems and Novell under his belt, Page and Brin, who were at the time relatively inexperienced businessmen, recruited Schmidt to run Google, which was in 2001 a three-year-old company.

As chief executive, Schmidt steered Google through its 2004 initial public offering. During his tenure, the company’s stock increased nearly 500%. He resigned as chief executive in 2011, paving the way for Page to reassume the role of CEO.

Pichai became Google’s CEO in 2015 as the company formed Alphabet, which now serves as the parent company for Google and the self-driving car company Waymo, along with various investment arms.


Twitter: @traceylien

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