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Eric Schmidt is stepping down as the Executive Chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, the company confirms. He will take a new role as a “technical advisor” at the parent company, and will remain on the board.

In a press release, Alphabet writes the change will be effective as of the company’s next regular board meeting in January 2018. At that time, it expects to hire a new chairman.

“Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition. The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving,” said Schmidt in the press release. “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 joined Google as its CEO in 2001, and become Executive Chairman of Google in 2011. He worked with cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to grow Google into the publicly-traded superpower it is today.

In 2015, Google created Alphabet as a new parent company, with Schmidt transitioning over as Executive Chairman of the new entity. At that time, Sundar Pichai became the CEO of Google. Alphabet also oversees former Google subsidiaries including Nest and the X labs as separate entitites. 

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