A look at Eric Schmidt's 17 years with Google and Alphabet

AP News
Posted: Dec 21, 2017 7:45 PM

Google parent Alphabet Inc. says Eric Schmidt is stepping down as executive chairman, though he isn't leaving the company completely.

Here's a look at Schmidt's 17 years with Google and Alphabet.


March 2001

Novell Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt is named Google chairman. Schmidt was chief technology officer and corporate executive officer at Sun Microsystems Inc. before taking the reins at Novell four years earlier.


August 2001

Schmidt is named CEO of Google, as early investors insist on bringing grown-up leadership to the rapidly growing company.


April 2004

Google files papers for initial public offering of stock.


October 2006

Google announces deal to buy YouTube, now one of the world's most popular video sites.


April 2007

Google announces plans to acquire ad company DoubleClick, expanding Google's advertising ambitions.


August 2009

Schmidt resigns from Apple's board as competition between the one-time allies heats up.


March 2010

Google moves its Chinese search engine outside mainland China amid dispute over censorship policies, as founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin overrule Schmidt's wishes.


January 2011

Schmidt makes a surprise announcement that he's stepping aside for Page to become chief executive. In a Twitter post, Schmidt writes, "Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!" Schmidt stays on as executive chairman.


April 2011

Schmidt drops title of CEO and becomes executive chairman. In that role, he will serve as adviser and handle broader tasks such as business partnerships and government outreach — important as Google faces growing regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and Europe.


January 2013

Schmidt makes four-day visit to North Korea, a country with one of the world's most restrictive internet policies. The visit takes place despite opposition from the U.S. government. Schmidt is accompanied by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Jared Cohen, the head of Google's innovation think-tank. Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, calls the delegation "useful idiots" on his Twitter account.


October 2015

Schmidt becomes executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., a new holding company formed in the separation of Google from projects, or "bets."


December 2017

Alphabet says Schmidt is stepping down as executive chairman. He will become a technical adviser and still sit on the board.