Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is stepping down as the Executive Chairman of Alphabet, the company announced on Thursday. Leaving the post after 17 years, Schmidt will remain with the company as a technical advisor on science and technology issues and as a board member.
Schmidt has spent most of his time on science and technology issues, as well as philanthropy, and his new role at Alphabet will help him to expand upon that work. “Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition,” Schmidt said. “The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving.”
Alphabet’s CEO Larry Page echoed Schmidt’s claim. He said, “Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology. I’m incredibly excited about the progress our companies are making, and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation.”
“After ten years as CEO and seven as Executive Chairman, I can’t wait to dive into the latest in science, technology, and philanthropy. I look forward to working with Larry and Sergey on our future here at Alphabet,” Schmidt tweeted.
Schmidt has had quite the career in Silicon Valley. His journey began at Sun Microsystems where he worked from 1983 to 1997 as the company’s Chief Technology Officer. He then went on to join Novell, where he was the company’s chairman and CEO until 2001, when he moved on to join Google. He was Google’s CEO for ten years until 2011, and the chairman of the board from 2001 to 2004, and later from 2007 to 2001.
Schmidt has also served on the board of Apple from 2006 to 2009, and left the position after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs believed Google’s Android phones ripped off the iPhone.
According to Forbes, Eric Schmidt’s net worth is $13.8 billion.