Schmidt will continue to serve on Alphabet’s board, while he will become a “technical adviser” to the company on science and technology issues. Alphabet said it expects the board to appoint a non-executive chairman to replace him.
Schmidt, 62, joined Google as chairman and CEO to provide so-called “adult supervision” to run the company founded by Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin in September 1998.
“Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology,” Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet, said in a statement. “I’m incredibly excited about the progress our companies are making, and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation.”
Schmidt, in a statement, said “Larry, Sergey, Sundar [Pichai, Google’s CEO] and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition. The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving.” The company’s Other Bets segment includes Nest, Verily, Google Fiber and self-driving car unit Waymo.
Alphabet has more than 70,000 employees worldwide. In October 2015, Alphabet became the parent holding company of Google.
Schmidt has a current net worth of $13.8 billion, most of which is tied to Alphabet stock, according to Forbes. Before joining Google, Schmidt was CEO of networking-software maker Novell. He also previously worked at Sun Microsystems.