He was initially brought in as chairman to add more seasoned leadership to the fast-growing Mountain View startup, as the "adult supervision" for the younger adults then running Google. Citing court filings, the Chicago Tribune reported that Schmidt had fired a Google recruiter for poaching an employee at Apple (where Schmidt had been a board member from 2006 to 2009). Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Schmidt and Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Larry Page have been discussing the transition for around a year. He'll also remain on the company's board.
Alphabet said Eric Schmidt is stepping down as executive chairman, ending a 17-year run that saw Google grow from a Web search engine into an Internet giant that dominates online advertising and video streaming.
Among Schmidt's accomplishments were taking the company public in 2004, shepherding critical product initiatives like the Android mobile operating system, and overseeing a massive 2015 corporate restructuring in which Google became a business unit of the holding company Alphabet.
Schmidt tweeted that he plans to spend more time working on issues relating to science, technology, and philanthropy. I look forward to working with Larry and Sergey on our future here at Alphabet. Although, his tenure was not without problems. Under Margrethe Vestager, the competition commissioner, watchdogs slapped Alphabet with a $2.8 billion fine in the summer for favoring its own shopping price comparison service over rivals.
During President Barack Obama's administration, people internally referred to Eric Schmidt's role as Google's secretary of state. The former Google CEO has supported many Democratic politicians, and prominently represented Google on policy matters. He also provided technical assistance to Hilary Clinton's campaign during the 2016 Presidential race.
"Did you mean a $100 billion market cap or $100 billion in revenue?" one employee asked. Recently, he also appeared in a forum and talked about his perspective that Google's is planning to de-rank Russian sites, which are propagating fake news on the social network.
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