Eric Schmidt Steps Down as Alphabet Executive Chairman

Eric Schmidt at MWC

Google's parent company Alphabet on Thursday announced that Eric Schmidt will step down as chairman, remaining on the board but shifting into a role as a technical advisor.

The 62-year-old billionaire will become a technical adviser and will continue to sit on the board of the company that was formed to contain Google and its sprawling so-called "moonshot" subsidiary businesses in 2015.

Schmidt, who joined Google in 2001, helped the company which Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded in September 1998, to go public in 2004.

In a statement, Mr. Schmidt said that he, Mr. Page, Mr. Brin and Sundar Pichai, Google's chief executive, "believe that the time is right in Alphabet's evolution for this transition".

Schmidt said in a statement that he felt the Alphabet structure was working well, with Google and its other bets thriving. He also took Twitter to express his feeling and wrote, "After ten years as CEO and seven as Executive Chairman, I can't wait to dive into the latest in science, technology, and philanthropy". About two years ago, Google unveiled a surprise corporate overhaul, forming a new parent company dubbed Alphabet to include internet search and a handful of independent companies.

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Alphabet made the announcement in a press release this afternoon, touting Schmidt's vision and accomplishments throughout his 17-year tenure.

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.

Other companies in the lawsuit which reached earlier settlements included eBay, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit.

He's been with the company since 2001 and previously served as Google's CEO.

Alphabet shares were down less than a percent in after-hours trading at $1,070.85.

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