Eric Schmidt To Step Down As Executive Chairman Of Alphabet

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Alphabet announced today that Eric Schmidt is stepping down as the company's executive chairman.

Schmidt, 62, an industry veteran who previously served as Google CEO, will remain on the company's board. Serving as Sun's chief technology officer, Schmidt left the company to join Novell, where he was the company's chairman and CEO until 2001, when he joined Google.

"Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology", said Larry Page, Alphabet's CEO and Google's co-founder.

In October 2015, Google launched a new structure that made Alphabet Inc. the holding company for Google and related businesses.

Schmidt's stint as executive chairman is to end at a regularly-scheduled board meeting next month, according to Alphabet.

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The group also owns the Other Bets unit, which includes the Waymo driverless auto business and the Project Loon WiFi-enabled weather balloon venture.

Schmidt departs at a time when Google is still riding high as the world's second-most valuable corporation by market capitalization, behind only Apple.

The long-running case alleged that major tech companies in Silicon Valley had secret agreements not to hire each other's employees, in a move to keep salaries under control. He steps down with the company firmly in place as the undisputed leader in search and online advertising worldwide. He was a member of President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and helped the government fix the health care website after a disastrous rollout. In recent years, Schmidt has taken to philanthropy.

Rather than directly replace Schmidt, the company said it expects the board to appoint a nonexecutive chairman.

Schmidt is also known to speak out on technology issues, expressing concerns about matters such as online spying and barriers to the free-flow of data.

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