Eric Schmidt is stepping down as Alphabet's Executive Chairman

Eric Schmidt's stint as executive chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet is to end at a regularly-scheduled board meeting next monthMore

The longtime executive will transition to becoming a technical advisor at the company's regular board meeting in January. He served as the company's CEO from August of that year through April 2011, when he became executive chairman of the board of directors at Google.

Schmidt [pictured above], a former engineer who held top executive jobs at Sun Microsystems Inc. and Novell Inc., took the reins of the search giant in 2001 from founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were technically brilliant but were faulted for their management inexperience.

"In recent years, I've been spending a lot of my time on science and technology issues, and philanthropy, and I plan to expand that work", Schmidt added.

Alphabet, which was formed when Google restructured its operations in 2015, now has more than 70,000 employees worldwide, and owns Google Search, Maps, Ads, Gmail, Android, Chrome, and YouTube.

On Schmidt being shifted to technical advisor role, Alphabet chief said, "Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology".

Schmidt has been a key figure at Google for some 17 years.

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His family has longed for this day for eight long years", Rabbi Pesach Lerner, president of the organization, said in a statement. There was widespread, bipartisan sentiment that the prosecution was vindictive and the sentence disproportionate.

A company spokesperson declined to answer further questions about Schmidt leaving the chairman role.

Rather than directly replace Schmidt, the company said it expects the board to appoint a nonexecutive chairman. Some of those "other bets" include self-driving cars, smart thermostats and internet-delivering balloons.

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 lawsuit, which led to a $415 million settlement, alleged that the late Apple chief Steve Jobs, Google chairman Schmidt and other tech executives were part of the conspiracy.

Forbes, which ranked Schmidt at No. 119 on its list of the world's billionaires, calculates that the outgoing chairman has net worth of $11.1 billion.

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