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Google shares close a little lower; Executive Chairman Schmidt to step down

24 December 2017, 03:06 | Gina Pena

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is stepping down as Alphabet's executive chairman

Eric Schmidt at MWC

Starting at the company's next board meeting in January, Schmidt will move to a "technical advisor" role while continuing to serve on the board, according to Alphabet's statement.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet, is to stand down next month and become a technical adviser to the group.

The company said that it plans to appoint a non-executive chairman to replace Schmidt.

No reason was provided for the change.

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin recruited the proven businessman and skilled software engineer as chief executive in 2001, bringing a mature hand to the helm of the then three-year-old internet search company.

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"The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving", Mr Schmidt said in the statement, referring to the company's ventures outside of its core search business.

John Hennessy, a member of Alphabet's board since 2004, said: "Over 17 years, Eric has been tremendously effective and tireless in guiding our board, particularly as we restructured from Google to Alphabet".

The lawsuit, which led to a $415 million settlement, alleged that the late Apple chief Steve Jobs, Google chairman Schmidt and other tech executives were part of the conspiracy.

The group also owns the Other Bets unit, which includes the Waymo driverless vehicle business and the Project Loon WiFi-enabled weather balloon venture. With managerial and executive experience at companies such as Sun Microsystems and Novell under his belt, Page and Brin, who were at the time relatively inexperienced businessmen, recruited Schmidt to run Google, which was in 2001 a three-year-old company.

GOOGL closed Thursday's trading session at $1,070.85. In recent years, Schmidt has taken to philanthropy.



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