Eric Schmidt to step down as executive chairman of Alphabet

December 22, 2017 08:49
Eric Schmidt will serve as technical advisor to Google's parent after giving up the post of executive chairman. Photo: Bloomberg

Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company, announced on Thursday that Eric Schmidt will step down from his position as executive chairman in January.

Schmidt, who served as chief executive of Google from 2001 to 2011, will transition to a role as technical advisor and will continue to serve on Alphabet's board of directors, the tech giant said.

"The time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition," Schmidt said in a statement, Reuters reports.

"The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving," said Schmidt, who will focus on technical and science issues as an advisor.

Schmidt, who was recruited to the company by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 2001, was instrumental in growing the company from a internet search startup into a publicly traded, global business with multiple products and business units.

"I‘m incredibly excited about the progress our companies are making and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation," Larry Page said in a statement.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google co-founders and Schmidt had been discussing the transition for about a year.

Schmidt's retreat signals a generational shift at the tech giant, which he helped shape into one of the world's most valuable and influential companies, the Journal noted.

Schmidt said he plans to spend more time "on science and technology issues, and philanthropy."

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