Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has announced the appointment a new Chairman, John L Hennessy. Hennessy has served on Alphabet’s board since 2004 and was the Lead Independent Director since 2007. He will be succeeding Eric Schmidt, who announced last December that he would be stepping down as the executive chairman of Alphabet. Schmidt served as the Chairman of Alphabet for 17 years, and he is still a member of company’s board. The board consists of members who include: Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Google co founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Google’s cloud computing Chief Diane Green. Alphabet also announced that Shirley M. Tilghman will also retire from the board effective Feb. 15, 2018.
“Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition,” Schmidt said in December. “The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving.”
Hennessy is a computer scientist who worked as Director of Stanford University for a long time. He stepped down from that position in 2016. He said in 2002, shortly after taking the job, that “the great thing about being a university president is you can keep that most wonderful of titles—professor. So, you are able to go back to teaching and working with students.”
Hennessey is also a Director at Cisco Systems, the Daniel Pearl Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. He is also leading the Knight-Hennessy Scholars, an upcoming program aimed at funding graduate students trying to help the world.
Hennessey designed a VLSI chip that provided the idea of the RISC architecture, which helped him start the semiconductor company, Mips Computer Systems in 1984. He commercialized the technology through Mips, which went public in 1989, and then he sold the company to Silicon Graphics for over $400 million in 1992. He also co-founded and worked as the Chairman of the board of directors for their wireless semiconductor company, Atheros Communications Inc from 1998 to 2010.