A little late in the day news dump for you, ahead of the upcoming holiday. Long time Google executive Eric Schmidt announced today that heâll be stepping down from his role as the executive chairman of Alphabetâs board of directors.
Alphabet has since confirmed the move with TechCrunch, offering up a statement from Schmidt.
âLarry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabetâs evolution for this transition,â he said in the statement. âThe Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving. âIn recent years, Iâve been spending a lot of my time on science and technology issues, and philanthropy, and I plan to expand that work.â
Schmidt joined up with Google in 2001, stepping into the role of CEO at the behest of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, after stints at Sun Microsystems and Novell. Around the time of the companyâs 2004 IPO, the trio reportedly pledged to work together for another 20 years.
Of course, Schmidt handed the baton to Page in 2011. When Google restructured to form Alphabet, Page became its CEO, with Sundar Pichai stepping in to take over Google.
Alphabetâs not offering much insight into why a shift is taking place once again, but Page echoed Schmidtâs general positivity in the same statement. âSince 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology. âContinuing his 17 years of service to the company, heâll now be helping us as a technical advisor on science and technology issues. Iâm incredibly excited about the progress our companies are making, and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation.â
Schmidt will remain on Alphabetâs board, stepping into what appears to be a less key role as âtechnical adviser.â No specifics on what shape that position will take, moving forward. Alphabet, meanwhile, is expected to appoint a new chairman at a meeting next month. The role will likely be a non-executive one.
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