Former Google CEO and its parent Alphabet’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt is stepping down from his role ending a tenure of 17 years in the company. He will continue to serve on the company’s board as a technical advisor.
Schmidt first joined Google as CEO in 2001, back when the company only had several hundred employees, and become its executive chairman 10 years later. He maintained that role when Google restructured to become Alphabet in 2015.
Alphabet expects that its board will appoint a new, non-executive chairman at its next meeting in January.
After ten years as CEO and seven as Executive Chairman, I can’t wait to dive into the latest in science, technology, and philanthropy. I look forward to working with Larry and Sergey on our future here at Alphabet. https://t.co/nVnZqMEHoI
— Eric Schmidt (@ericschmidt) December 21, 2017
As far as controversies are concerned, Schmidt has had his share of them. In 2011, Schmidt made a surprise announcement that he’s stepping down for Larry Page to become chief executive. In a Twitter post, Schmidt wrote, “Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!”
Four years ago, Schmidt visited North Korea, despite opposition from the U.S. government. Also, he was recently the subject of an article that detailed a personal relationship he had with a publicist hired by Google some years ago.
Meanwhile, the market value of Alphabet has climbed more than $500 billion since Eric Schmidt stepped down as a chief executive officer in 2011.
In the past several years, Schmidt has become increasingly involved in philanthropy through his own family foundation, which just launched a $25 million science fellowship, as well as Rise of the Rest, which invests in startups in middle America, and the Alliance for Southern California Innovation. He also serves as a board member of the Broad Institute, which focuses on medicine and disease prevention.
The 62-year-old executive is currently worth over $13 billion, and he has lately spent more time on his foundation, which is focused on environmental causes and energy technology.
In a statement, Schmidt commented that “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.” He also noted that he’d continue to be expanding his work in science and technology issues and philanthropy.
The development was first reported by Recode.
In Sept 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google. In last 19 years, the tech company has grown to more than 70,000 employees worldwide. It boasts of a wide range of popular products and platforms like Search, Maps, Ads, Gmail, Android, Chrome, and YouTube. In October 2015, Alphabet became the parent holding company of Google.