Eric Schmidt to step down as executive chairman of Alphabet

Google mastermind Eric Schmidt to step down from role in JANUARY

"Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology", said Alphabet CEO and co-founder Larry Page.

Eric Schmidt, Alphabet's executive chairman of the board of directors, is stepping down in January, though he will continue to serve on the board, the company announced Thursday.

As for what he will do, 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".

"The time is right in Alphabet's evolution for this transition", Schmidt said in a statement.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is a visible tech executive, and has been key in preparing the company to compete outside of consumer products and advertising. However, after a major restructuring in 2015, when a new company Alphabet was created he became the executive chairman of it as well. As of now, he will remain on the Alphabet's board of directors, and the company is looking forward to finding a new non-executive chairman for the board.

Launching Gmail, Maps and the Chrome browser. He spoke out on regulatory issues, met with world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland; and regularly attended the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. At a Clinton campaign party in November 2016, he was spotted wearing a "staff" badge.

Through Schmidt's leadership, the company was able to build a structure that supported rapid growth and allowed it to morph into a tech giant among the likes of Apple and Microsoft. Alphabet published notice of the above to its investor site yesterday evening. In June, EU antitrust officials fined Google $2.7 billion for unfairly favoring some of its own services over those of its competitors.

Schmidt earned his reputation in Silicon Valley in the 1990s for leading expansions at software companies Sun Microsystems and Novell. Still, the timing of the announcement in the early evening a few days before Christmas raised eyebrows. Recently, he also appeared in a forum and talked about his perspective that Google's is planning to de-rank Russian sites, which are propagating fake news on the social network.

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