Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt no longer works with the company and ceases to be advisor to the search giant in February 20 months after leaving Alphabet’s board of directors.
Eric Schmidt (right) with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 2007
A long-time member of Google’s management team, Schmidt has been with the company for 19 years, but has gradually declined over the last few years of his tenure. Schmidt severed ties to Google completely, leaving his role as technical advisor in February, reports say.
The silent exit from Google, as reported by CNET, marks the last chapter of Schmidt’s term as “adult supervision” for the research company that would turn into the Alphabet. After serving as CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, Schmidt became executive chairman of Alphabet, but announced plans to move to a “technical advisor” position in December 2017, while retaining a seat on the board.
In April 2019, Schmidt refused to be re-elected to the Alphabet board of directors and officially left the board in June of the same year, but stayed with the company in his advisory role. Eight months later, he left the latter advisory post.
It is unclear why Schmidt left Google entirely, as neither Google nor Schmidt representatives wanted to comment on the matter.
Schmidt’s ties to Google may interfere with his work in other roles, including initiatives for the U.S. military such as the chairmanship of the Defense Innovation Board and the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. He was also recently appointed chairman of a commission to update the state of New York’s technology and policy infrastructure, both during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
In these roles, critics quickly suggested that its relationship with Google could influence its decisions. On the military side, there is concern that Schmidt may enrich Google’s position and finances, while the role of the public sector also raises concerns about Google’s record in terms of privacy.
Although he left Google, Schmidt is still financially linked to the research company, as he owns approximately $ 5.3 billion in stock for the company. After he left, he no longer took his symbolic salary of $ 1 from the company.