Pentagon appoints Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt to head innovation board

3 Mar 2016

The Pentagon, the hub of US military administration

The chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, Eric Schmidt, has been appointed by the US government to lead a new advisory board at the Pentagon aimed at bringing innovation and best practices to the US military.

Yesterday (2 March), US Secretary of Defence Ash Carter announced plans to establish a Defence Innovation Advisory Board.

The new board is an effort to enhance the Department of Defence’s culture, organisation and processes by tapping innovators from the private sector, especially from Silicon Valley.

The board will be chaired by Schmidt and will be comprised of up to 12 individuals who have successfully led large private and public organisations “and excelled at identifying and adopting new technology concepts”.

Members will be selected jointly by Carter and Schmidt.

“As chairman of Alphabet, and as the author of How Google Works, Schmidt has a unique perspective on the latest practices in harnessing and encouraging innovation, and the importance of technology in driving organisational behaviour and business operations,” the US Department of Defence said yesterday.

About Schmidt


Eric Schmidt, Alphabet chairman, and one of the most powerful men in Silicon Valley

Schmidt is one of the most powerful individuals in the global technology industry, was a former technology adviser to US president Barack Obama and, as well as Google, also previously sat on the board of Apple. He was also previously CEO of Novell and chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems.

According to Forbes, he is the 129th richest person in the world and has a personal wealth of $6.2bn.

Interviewed by in 2009 and 2011, Schmidt is an interesting choice by the US Department of Defence and is seen as a safe set of hands in the high-octane world of Silicon Valley and the tumultuous world of US politics and government.

Pentagon image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years