Eric Schmidt steps down as executive chairman of Google's parent Alphabet

23 December, 2017, 02:03 | Author: Lynne Higgins
  • Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt just stepped down

Eric Schmidt, executive chair of advertising behemoth and Google parent Alphabet, has announced he is standing down from his 17-year role as the company's 'adult supervision. He served as CEO until 2011, when he transitioned to become executive chairman, making way for Page to reassume the role. He won't be leaving entirely, however, as he will instead take on the role of "technical advisor" while also remaining a member of the board.

In a statement, Schmidt said 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", said Schmidt. Schmidt noted that he will continue o expand his work in technology issues, philanthropy, and science. That would seem to consolidate the power of the company's co-founders, Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Alphabet President Sergey Brin.

It is certainly an end of an era.

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

Schmidt also had a seat on Apple's board of directors from August 2006 until three years later when Google's ambitions for Android became problematic for Apple.

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During his time at Google, Schmidt oversaw its growth into one of the world's largest companies, with revenue of $27.77 billion during the third quarter of 2017 and a market cap of $743 billion.

Schmidt has been marginalised over time at Alphabet through a combination of its changing leadership, the shifting political environment in the United States, and his own personal gaffes, according to people familiar with the company, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly. Considering the growing influence of the "Other bets" business unit in Google, this might not be the last time you hear from the man.

The group also owns the Other Bets unit, which includes the Waymo driverless auto business and the Project Loon WiFi-enabled weather balloon venture. In recent years, Schmidt has taken to philanthropy.

Ultimately, this move could help Google's public image.

The company is also in the midst of a nightmare with the European Commission.



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