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Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt steps down, switches to advisory role

by Justin Herrick | December 21, 2017December 21, 2017 2:20 pm EST

There’s surprising news coming out of Mountain View this week. Eric Schmidt, the executive who first joined Google way back in 2001, announced he’ll be stepping down as Alphabet’s chairman on the board of directors.

He won’t be leaving Alphabet behind entirely, though. Schmidt will continue to work with the company as a technical advisor and have a seat on the board. It’s similar to the current role Bill Gates has at Microsoft despite leaving as chairman in 2014. Like Gates at Microsoft, Schmidt will merely offer his perspective but not decide what Alphabet ultimately does. People like Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Sundar Pichai will still be calling the shots at Alphabet and Google.

Here’s his statement:

“Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition. The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving. In recent years, I’ve been spending a lot of my time on science and technology issues, and philanthropy and I plan to expand that work.”

Schmidt was certainly one of the most recognizable faces at Google and then Alphabet. While leading Google as the chief executive officer, he took the company from a few hundred employees to thousands. And, in 2011, he transitioned over to chairman. His role remained the same when Google became Alphabet in 2015. Under his watch, Google acquired various products and services billions of people use today.

Alphabet believes a replacement will be selected in January when the board of directors meet again.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...