Eric Schmidt stepping down as chair of Alphabet board

Eric Schmidt stepping down as chair of Alphabet board

Alphabet, which became the parent holding company of Google in October 2015, anticipates its board to appoint a non-executive chairman.

Google shares ended the US Thursday trading session a little lower, as the tech giant announced its executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, will step down in January.

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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. "The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving", said Eric Schmidt. He said he plans to spend more time on science and technology issues and philanthropy. When Google restructured under Alphabet, he resumed that position at the parent company.

To succeed Schmit, the board is expected to put a non-executive chairman in place.

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During his tenure, Schmidt wound up at the center of a civil suit in U.S. federal court over an "anti-poaching" agreement involving tech giants Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe. The business will join Apple and Microsoft who are both huge companies with a non-executive chairman. He was a member of President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and helped the government fix the health care website after a disastrous rollout. Republicans have long accused the company of being too cozy with Democrats, and Schmidt's efforts to help Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE's presidential campaign a year ago did little to ease those suspicions.

The key outlet for that philanthropy has been The Schmidt Family Foundation, founded by Schmidt and his wife Wendy in 2006.

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