Eric Schmidt Steps Down From Alphabet Executive Chairman Role

A surprise announcement has come out of Alphabet this week. Google's former CEO and most recently Executive Chairman of the Alphabet Board of Directors has announced that he is stepping down from his post. Schmidt will transition to a role as a technical advisor for the company, and Alphabet says that it expects a non-executive chairman will be appointed at the next board meeting.

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"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 Eric 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."

Schmidt joined Google back in 2001 as CEO when the company had only a few hundred workers and helped grow the search giant into the behemoth it is today. Ten years after taking on the role as CEO, he transitioned to his position as executive chairman. Schmidt tweeted about his role shift in 2011, writing, "adult supervision is no longer needed."

"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."

"Over 17 years, Eric has been tremendously effective and tireless in guiding our Board, particularly as we restructured from Google to Alphabet. He’ll now be able to bring that same focus and energy to his other passions, while continuing to advise Alphabet," said John Hennessy, a member of Alphabet’s Board since 2004 and the lead independent director since 2007.