Eric Schmidt announces that he will be stepping down as the executive chairman of Alphabet. Schmidt will be transitioning to the role of technical advisor while still serving on the company's board. Schmidt joined Google as CEO in 2001, he has been with the company ever since.
He became executive chairman in 2011. Any changes are expected to be formalized at the next board meeting in 2018.
End Of An Era
Schmidt served as an advisor after he became executive chairman to the co-founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Schmidt was brought in originally on the advice of Google's VC funders for some "adult supervision." He even joked about it on Twitter back in 2011.
In the press release announcing the departure of Schmidt, Page praised his help over the last 17 years of the company.
"Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology," Page said in a statement. "Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he'll now be helping us as a technical advisor on science and technology issues."
The move signals that Alphabet is looking to the future of the company. In the press release announcing Schmidt's departure, CEO Larry Page states his excitement for the future.
"I'm incredibly excited about the progress our companies are making, and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation," Page said in a statement.
Looking To The Future
On his Twitter, Schmidt revealed that he can't wait to go into the latest in science, technology, and philanthropy. Schmidt is heavily involved in philanthropy. His Schmidt Family Foundation started a $25 million science fellowship and he contributed to Rise of the Rest, which invests seed money into companies located outside of Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston.
"Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believer 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," Schmidt said in a statement. "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."
There is speculation that Schmidt will likely advise on Alphabet's urban development project Sidewalk Labs and its healthcare projects, Verily and Calico.
Alphabet will be appointing a new, non-executive chairman during its next meeting in January.