Eric Schmidt Is Out as Alphabet's Executive Chairman

Eric Schmidt Is Out as Alphabet's Executive Chairman

Eric Schmidt Is Out as Alphabet's Executive Chairman

Alphabet has announced that former Google CEO Eric Schmidt will be stepping down from his role as Alphabet's executive chairman.

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin recruited the proven businessman and skilled software engineer as chief executive in 2001, bringing a mature hand to the helm of the then three-year-old internet search company. To 10 years later become executive chairman, and continue to serve in this capacity through restructuring, and the birth of Alphabet.

In a surprise announcement after the USA markets had closed, Alphabet said that Mr Schmidt, 62, who joined Google in 2001 and served as its chief executive until 2011, will continue to serve on Alphabet's board.

When Google restructured in August 2015, forming Alphabet, Schmidt became Alphabet's executive chairman. He also plans to spend time on philanthropy and on "science and technology issues", he said in the statement.

CNBC reports that Schmidt's new role will likely include advising "the company's urban development arm, Sidewalk Labs, its deep learning efforts, and its healthcare spin-offs, Verily and Calico".

On Schmidt being shifted to technical advisor role, Alphabet chief said, "Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology".

Schmidt departs at a time when Google is still riding high as the world's second-most valuable corporation by market capitalization, behind only Apple.

Page became chief executive at Alphabet, a holding company for the tech giant's search products and "other bets" such Waymo self-driving vehicle unit; Nest smart home gadgets, and Google Fiber internet service.

Alphabet shares were down less than a percent in after-hours trading at $1,070.85.

Mr Schmidt first joined Google as CEO back in 2001 when the company only had several hundred employees.

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