Alphabet said that its board will appoint a new, non-executive chairman at its next meeting in January. "The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving", said Eric Schmidt.
Schmidt plans to expand his work and spend more time on his other passions-science and technology, as well as, philanthropy.
Schmidt joined up with Google in 2001, stepping into the role of CEO at the behest of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, after stints at Sun Microsystems and Novell.
It is certainly an end of an era. Many in the industry joked he acted as 'adult supervision' for the pair, which Schmidt himself referenced in 2011 when he stepped down as CEO by joking that 'day-to-day adult supervision [is] no longer needed! 'Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he'll now be helping us as a technical advisor on science and technology issues.
Google attributes Mr. Schmidt as the person who was able to refine Google from what it originally was and into the mature powerhouse business that it has become today. "I'm incredible excited about the progress our companies are making, and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation". That was also when Sunder Pichai took over as the head of Google though this also happens to be the last time the Mountain View company has seen a major restructing in its top order.
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Schmidt has been marginalised over time at Alphabet through a combination of its changing leadership, the shifting political environment in the United States, and his own personal gaffes, according to people familiar with the company, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly. By shifting Schmidt from the Executive Chairman role, the company can finally begin trying to win back some consumer trust. The former Google CEO has supported many Democratic politicians, and prominently represented Google on policy matters.
He also gave money and technical assistance to Hillary Clinton's campaign team during the 2016 presidential race. He made it clear that the company appreciated everything Schmidt had done for the company "particularly as we restructured from Google to Alphabet".
The key outlet for that philanthropy has been The Schmidt Family Foundation, founded by Schmidt and his wife Wendy in 2006.
Ultimately, this move could help Google's public image.
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place".