Alphabet, parent to search giant Google and the advertising platforms which support its typically free-to-use services, has announced a board-level shake-up which will see former chief executive Eric Schmidt step down.
Eric Schmidt joined Google as the chief executive officer in 2001, having been interviewed by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin - and was immediately referred to as the pair's 'adult supervision'. In 2011 Schmidt stepped down from his role, joking that 'adult supervision [was] no longer needed,' but remained executive chair at Google parent company Alphabet until stepping down in 2017 to serve as a board member and technical advisor.
Now, Schmidt is distancing himself still further from the company: Alphabet has confirmed that Schmidt will not be seeking re-election to the board when his current term ends in June, though has given no explanation as to why. 'Eric has made an extraordinary contribution to Google and Alphabet as CEO, chairman, and board member,' claims current chair John Hennessy. 'We are extremely grateful for his guidance and leadership over many years'
Schmidt isn't alone in stepping down, either: Diane Greene, who has been on the board since January 2012 and served as the chief executive officer of Google Cloud from 2015 to January this year, has also confirmed that she will not be seeking re-election. 'I want to thank Diane for her years of tremendous service to our Board and company,' says Hennessy, 'in particular for her work in leading Google’s rapidly growing cloud business.'
To fill the holes, Hennessy has announced the appointment of Robin Washington to the board, as well as Alphabet's Leadership Development and Compensation Committee. 'Robin’s incredible business and leadership experience will be hugely valuable to our Board and company in the years ahead,' claims Hennessy of the appointment.
'I’m honoured to join Alphabet’s Board, and I look forward to the opportunity to help guide the company’s important work,' adds Robin Washington. 'I'm excited to be part of a company that has such a tremendous opportunity to improve the lives of people around the world.'
The board-level changes come as Alphabet announced lower-than-expected earnings for the first quarter of its 2019 financial year, which saw the company's share price plummet 7.5 percent in after-hours trading.
May 15 2020 | 11:00