Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to leave Alphabet board of directors

1 May 2019

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Image: Imaginechina-Editorial/Depositphotos

Google parent company Alphabet has announced that two of its members, Eric Schmidt and Diane Greene, will not seek re-election when their terms expire on 19 June.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and the former CEO of Google’s cloud business, Diane Greene, will not seek re-election to the board of the internet giant’s parent company, Alphabet.

Schmidt became the firm’s CEO in 2001 and held the position for 10 years. He then became the company’s executive chair for a few years before eventually transitioning into the role of technical adviser. Overall, he has held a seat on the board for 18 years.

In this advisory role, Schmidt said that he focuses on potential applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Alphabet has confirmed that Schmidt will continue to work with the board in this capacity.

“Eric has made an extraordinary contribution to Google and Alphabet as CEO, chairman and board member,” said John Hennessy, the current chair of the board of directors at Alphabet. “We are extremely grateful for his guidance and leadership over many years.”

Schmidt was namechecked six months ago in a damning New York Times investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct within Google and how the company may have covered these allegations up. Schmidt was accused in a subsequent lawsuit of conspiring with other members of the board, including Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, to cover up harassment perpetrated by company executives.

Greene is also set to leave the Alphabet board, on which she has served since 2012. She became the CEO of Google’s cloud business after her start-up, Bebop, was acquired in 2015. She announced in late 2018 that Thomas Kurian would be taking over her role.

All of this news broke yesterday (30 April) in a press release also confirming the appointment of Gilead chief financial officer Robin L Washington. Washington has served as the CFO of Gilead since 2014 and has previously held senior executive positions at Hyperion Solutions and PeopleSoft.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Image: Imaginechina-Editorial/Depositphotos

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic