Eric Schmidt steps down as Alphabet chairman | News | DW | 22.12.2017
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Business

Eric Schmidt steps down as Alphabet chairman

The 62-year-old who was brought on as a mature hand for the infant Google in 2001 has announced his resignation from parent company Alphabet. Schmidt will remain on the board in an advisory capacity.

Longtime Google executive Eric Schmidt announced on Thursday that he was stepping down as chairman of the tech giant's parent company, Alphabet. The 62-year-old Schmidt will retain his seat on the board but shift to an advisory role.

"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," Schmidt wrote in an official press release, adding that he felt things at Alphabet and Google were going well.

Schmidt will officially step down at the company's scheduled board meeting in January.

Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page praised Schmidt for his "17 years of service to the company," and for providing business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology."

A skilled businessman and software engineer, Schmidt was brought on as Google CEO in 2001 when the company was still in its infancy. Schmidt stepped aside in favor of Page in 2011 but remained chairman of the board until Google announced it was restructuring under the Alphabet umbrella in 2015 – when Schmidt moved into his current position.

Illegal recruiting scheme

In 2014, Schmidt was one of a handful of tech executives that included the late Steve Jobs of Apple accused of engaging in illegal "anti-poaching agreements" with other Silicon Valley companies. The deal stipulated that the companies could not recruit employees away from one another.

Google, Adobe, Apple and Intel eventually paid out a $415 million settlement. Other companies implicated included eBay, Lucasfilm and Pixar.

Schmidt is also known as a dedicated philanthropist who gives regularly to environmental causes.

es/sms (AP, AFP)

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