Published: Sat, December 23, 2017
Health Care | By Alice Shelton

After 16 years, Alphabet's Eric Schmidt is stepping down as executive chairman

After 16 years, Alphabet'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 on Alphabet's board and in January will become a "technical advisor" to a group of folks that have some pretty strong tech experience.

Alphabet is likely to appoint a non-executive chairman in his wake, the company said.

He joined Google in 2001 as CEO at the behest of the company's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, with the goal of providing a little "adult supervision" to the young founders, as they joked in a 2001 interview with Charlie Rose after Schmidt's arrival. "The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving", in his statement regarding his stepping down from the role. Schmidt noted that he will continue o expand his work in technology issues, philanthropy, and science. But he retained a highly influential role at the company and continued to serve in many ways as its public face. Page had previously worked at Sun Microsystems and Novell before being hired by Page and Brin in 2011 to run the company.

Google is still the main contributor of Alphabet's revenue and income.

Page, in a statement Thursday, alluded to the new generation at Alphabet and Google. However, Schmidt's new role as a technical advisor has not been elaborated much.

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In 2001, Google brought Eric Schmidt on board as CEO.

Alphabet Inc shares were unchanged in premarket trading Friday.

Eric Schmidt has always been a major figure in Google and even when the company transitioned to Alphabet. Google and its other companies are doing good.

Some gaffes by Schmidt over the years have also received attention.

Google has also had to tamp down reports that Schmidt sought to remove personal information, including about political donations, from the search engine, which he has denied.

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