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Alphabet's Eric Schmidt to step down as Executive Chairman

He will continue to serve on the board of directors of Alphabet

Reuters  |  San Francisco 

The tenure of Eric Schmidt (pictured) had its own share of problems. Photo: Reuters
The tenure of Eric Schmidt (pictured) had its own share of problems. Photo: Reuters

said on Thursday its will step down in January, ending a 17-year-run in which he played a central role in building a promising startup called into a global Alphabet's Eric Schmidt to step down as Executive Chairman He will continue to serve on the Alphabet's board of directors and act as an on focused on technical and science issues, the company said. “The time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition,” Schmidt said in a statement. “I'm incredibly excited about the progress our are making and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation,” said in a statement. Schmidt, who was recruited to the company by co-founders Page and Sergey Brin, served as from 2001 through 2011, acting as what the three jokingly referred to as the “adult supervision.” Schmidt then became executive chairman, often traveling the world touting the company's accomplishments, negotiating with governments on regulatory matters and speaking about the state of the tech industry. "He helped them mature into the powerhouse business it is today without throwing away the uniqueness that was during those early days," said Joe Beda, of startup and a employee from 2004 through 2014. Among Schmidt's accomplishments were taking the company public in 2004, shepherding critical product initiatives like the mobile operating system, and overseeing a massive 2015 corporate restructuring in which became a business unit of the holding company Bismarck Lepe, of San Francisco startup and a employee from 2003 until 2007, said Page and Brin focused on the company's technology and the product strategies, while Schmidt focused on how to scale every product to a global level. Schmidt "was incredibly smart and incredibly technical, which made him a perfect fit," Lepe added. Schmidt's tenure was not without its problems.

Google, and several other tech were hit with a class action lawsuit in 2011 alleging that executives including Schmidt and the late conspired to keep wages down by not hiring one anothers' employees. The suit was settled for $415 million in 2015. The company has also been hit with lawsuits alleging that it pays women less than men. It also faces a series of antitrust actions in Europe, though Schmidt was instrumental in convincing the US Federal Trade Commission not to pursue antitrust actions in the Schmidt spent more than a decade at and ran the company before joining in 2001. The 2004 initial public offering came at time when the industry was still reeling from the dot-com bust, but it helped lay the groundwork for the current boom. Shuman Ghosemajumder, of Mountain View, California, startup Shape Security and a employee from 2003 until 2010, recalled that shortly after the IPO, Schmidt spoke at an all-hands meetings and said that he, Page and Brin had the ambition of making a $100 billion company. "Did you mean a $100 billion market cap or $100 billion in revenue?" one employee asked. "And Eric said 'You pick,'" recalled Ghosemajumder. “That was definitely inspiring to me. now carries a market cap of $741 billion, and this year, it is projected to surpass $100 billion in annual revenue, according to estimates.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, December 23 2017. 02:08 IST
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