Schmidt to step down at Alphabet

Eric Schmidt Stepping Down as Chairman of Google Parent Company

Mr Schmidt, 62, will relinquish his role at the next board meeting in January and become a technical adviser to the firm as well as continuing to serve as a director.

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

Schmidt has been spending much his time on science and technology issues, as well as philanthropy, and his new role at Alphabet will help him to expand upon that work.

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Alphabet made the announcement in a press release this afternoon, touting Schmidt's vision and accomplishments throughout his 17-year tenure.

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.

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin recruited the proven businessman and skilled software engineer as chief executive in 2001, bringing a mature hand to the helm of the then three-year-old internet search company.

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The creation of Alphabet also lead to Mr Schmidt becoming chairman of the parent company.

CNBC reports that Schmidt's new role will likely include advising "the company's urban development arm, Sidewalk Labs, its deep learning efforts, and its healthcare spin-offs, Verily and Calico".

"The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving", Mr Schmidt said in the statement, referring to the company's ventures outside of its core search business.

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The group also owns the Other Bets unit, which includes the Waymo driverless auto business and the Project Loon WiFi-enabled weather balloon venture. A Forbes real-time tracker on Thursday pegged his net worth at $13.8 billion, with most of that held in the form of Alphabet shares. Schmidt earns $1.25 million per year in salary, and hasn't take a bonus as of 2016.

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