Business

Eric Schmidt stepping down as chair of Alphabet board

SAN FRANCISCO: Google's parent company Alphabet on Thursday announced that Mr Eric Schmidt will step down as chairman, remaining on the board but shifting into a role as a technical advisor.

"In recent years, I have been spending a lot of my time on science and technology issues and philanthropy, and I plan to expand that work," Mr Schmidt said in a release.

His stint as executive chairman is to end at a regularly-scheduled board meeting next month, according to Alphabet.

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.

Mr Page replaced Mr Schmidt as chief executive a decade later, but Mr Schmidt remained at the head of the board of directors.

"Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology," Mr Page, the Alphabet chief, said.

"Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he will now be helping us as a technical advisor on science and technology issues."

About two years ago, Google unveiled a corporate overhaul, forming a new parent company dubbed Alphabet to include Internet search and a handful of independent companies.

Mr Page became chief executive at Alphabet - a holding company for the tech giant's search products and "other bets" such Waymo self-driving car unit - while Mr Schmidt went from being executive chairman at Google to having the same role at Alphabet. - AFP

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