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Eric Schmidt is stepping down as executive chairman of Alphabet

Schmidt will stay on the board as an adviser.

Eric Schmidt onstage at the 2016 DealBook Conference in New York City Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The New York Times

Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt is stepping down from his role as executive chairman of the company, according to a press release published Thursday.

Schmidt was Google’s CEO for a decade, stepping away in 2011, and has been chairman of Google, now Alphabet, since 2001. He helped oversee Google’s transition into Alphabet and will remain on the company’s board, but in a “technical advisor” role focused on science and tech projects. The key change is he’ll be stepping away from his day-to-day work leading Alphabet’s board.

The company says it expects to “appoint a non-executive chairman,” presumably sometime next year.

Schmidt had a long career as a software executive before becoming Google’s CEO in 2001. He helped turn the company from what was effectively a side project by two grad students into a dominant online ad business. He was recently the subject of an article that detailed a personal relationship he had with a publicist hired by Google some years ago.

The 62-year-old executive is currently worth over $13 billion, and he has lately spent more time on his foundation, which is focused on environmental causes and energy technology.

“Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology,” said Larry Page, Alphabet’s CEO and Google’s co-founder. “Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he’ll now be helping us as a technical advisor on science and technology issues. I’m incredibly excited about the progress our companies are making, and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation.”

This article originally appeared on

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