Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, will stand down in January, the company has announced.
Mr Schmidt will remain on the board as a technical adviser, having overseen the company’s transition from start-up to technology giant.
He joined Google in 2001 as chief executive, before becoming chairman in 2011 and then overseeing a major restructure in 2015 that created parent company Alphabet – with Google as one arm of the firm and other businesses such as its driverless car venture forming the other wing known as ‘Other Bets’.
Mr Schmidt said the decision had been reached following discussions with Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and chief executive Sundar Pichai.
‘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,’ he said.
‘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.’
Alphabet chief executive Mr Page added: ‘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.
‘I’m incredibly excited about the progress our companies are making, and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation.’
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