Google’s Eric Schmidt is stepping down as Executive Chairman

One of the most recognizable names in the technology industry will be taking more a backseat role at Google, as Eric Schmidt steps down as Executive Chairman.

Schmidt will remain in place until the next general meeting on 18 January, though his new position will be as a technical advisor to the company while continuing to serve on its board. Details on why Schmidt will be moving away from the bright lights are thin for the moment, but perhaps it is just time for a bit of relaxation for man who was probably one of the busiest Googler’s in recent years.

“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.”

Schmidt, who Forbes ranked Schmidt as the 119th-richest person in the world in 2017, served as the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, a period which laid down the foundations for Google’s dominance today. Schmidt handed over control of Google in 2011 to founder Larry Page, but continued as Executive Chairman as the company restructured to form Alphabet.

“Larry (Page), Sergey (Binn), Sundar (Pichai) 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 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.”

A new Executive Chairman will be announced in January, and perhaps there will be a bit more detail on what Schmidt’s role will actually be. Considering the growing influence of the ‘Other bets’ business unit in Google, this might not be the last time you hear from the man.

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