Eric Schmidt Stepping Down as Chairman of Google Parent Company

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Eric Schmidt

The executive, who has been with Google company since 2001, will become a technical advisor and will continue to serve on the company's board.

Eric Schmidt is stepping down from his role as executive chairman of Google's parent company. 

The longtime executive will transition to becoming a technical advisor when the company holds its regular board meeting in January. He will continue to serve on the board. 

Schmidt has been with Google since 2001, when co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin recruited him to run their then-small search startup. He served as CEO until 2011, when he transitioned to become executive chairman, making way for Page to reassume the role. In 2015, Google restructured to become Alphabet and Schmidt maintained the same role at the newly named parent company.

"Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology," said Page, who since 2015 has served as Alphabet CEO. "Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he’ll now be helping us as a technical advisor 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."

Added Schmidt, "Larry, Sergey, [Google CEO Sundar Pichai] 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."

Prior to joining Google, Schmidt was CEO of software company Novell. He also served for three years on the Apple board between 2006-2009. 

During his time at Google, Schmidt oversaw its growth into one of the world's largest companies, with revenue of $27.77 billion during the third quarter of 2017 and a market cap of $743 billion. 

Alphabet plans to appoint a non-executive chairman to replace Schmidt.