Google chief Eric Schmidt has announced that he will step down from his position as CEO of the search giant. Replacing him is founder Larry Page.
Google has become bigger than anyone ever imagined and one person who is more than ready to admit that is Eric Schmidt. In a post published to the official Google blog, the CEO of Google praised the company’s large staff and credited his employees with building the empire we know today.
“Search has quite literally changed people’s lives—increasing the collective sum of the world’s knowledge and revolutionizing advertising in the process. And our emerging businesses—display, Android, YouTube and Chrome—are on fire,” Schmidt said. “Of course, like any successful organization we’ve had our fair share of good luck, but the entire team—now over 24,000 Googlers globally—deserves most of the credit.”
However, Schmidt also revealed that times are changing over at Google and that in the ten years he’s been there, managing the company has become a lot more complicated. So, Google is going to be simplifying its management structure.
“Larry will now lead product development and technology strategy, his greatest strengths, and starting from April 4 he will take charge of our day-to-day operations as Google’s Chief Executive Officer,” Schmidt announced. “Sergey has decided to devote his time and energy to strategic projects, in particular working on new products. His title will be Co-Founder. He’s an innovator and entrepreneur to the core, and this role suits him perfectly,” he added.
So where does that leave our old pal Eric? Schmidt will continue his role as chairman of the company, and going forward he will focus on external affairs like business deals and government outreach. He will also act as an advisor to the new CEO, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin.
The announcement comes as a surprise to most. However, rumor has it this one has been brewing for a while. TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington claims he was ready to run a story about the possibility of Eric’s departure last summer but he canned it because Google says it wasn’t happening. Arrington’s story was that Schmidt was tired and just didn’t want to do it anymore. However, speaking in an interview, Schmidt said it’s not a case of stepping down, but stepping up, as he will have more time to focus on being chairman and the responsibilities that come with that role.