Eric Schmidt to step down as executive chairman of Google parent Alphabet

22 December 2017, 11:34

The executive chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet is to step down in January, the company has announced.

Eric Schmidt has been part of Google since 2001 and presided over the company's transition to Alphabet, with Google itself being spun out as a subsidiary.

He was the company's chief executive from 2001 through to 2011, a period in which he oversaw the search engine's development into one of the most powerful technology companies in the world.

"Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet's evolution for this transition," said Mr Schmidt.

"The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving."

Alphabet's "Other Bets" businesses include self-driving car company Waymo, and other technology companies such as Nest, Fiber and Verily.

"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," Mr Schmidt added.

He will become a technical adviser to Alphabet and will continue to serve on the board while the company replace him with a non-executive chairman.

Larry Page, one of Google's founders and the chief executive of Alphabet, said: "Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology."

"Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he'll now be helping us as a technical adviser on science and technology issues."

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.

"He'll now be able to bring that same focus and energy to his other passions, while continuing to advise Alphabet."