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Eric Schmidt gives up Alphabet exec chairman position, becomes technical director

GOOGLE’S EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, Eric Schmidt, is to shift from his position on the board of directors at Alphabet to become a technical advisor to the company.

He will continue to serve on the board, and the changes will to take effect as of Google’s next regular board meeting in January 2018.

“Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology,” said Alphabet CEO and co-founder Larry Page.

“Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he’ll now be helping us as a technical advisor on science and technology issues. 

Schmidt revealed that the move was agreed with Larry, Sergey and Sundar. He added that the Alphabet structure is working well, and claimed that Google and the its other bits and pieces are currently “thriving”.

He continued: “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’s move will enable him to bring the same kind of single-minded focus he brought to Google, especially as CEO from 2001 to 2011, to his other interests, while continuing to advise the company.

The tech giant said that the board will appoint a non-executive chairman to replace Schmidt in the near future. 

While arguably the driving force behind Google’s shift from promising start-up to business behemoth as CEO, more recently Schmidt is perhaps better known for talking down some of the fear-mongering hype surrounding the future of artificial intelligence – particularly from the likes of Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk.

Last year, he basically accused them of not knowing what they’re talking about.

Business Insider reported that Schmidt was asked about their opinions on AI during the Brilliant Minds conference in Stockholm, Sweden (for some reason, INQ wasn’t invited).

He served up this zinger: “In the case of Stephen Hawking, although a brilliant man, he’s not a computer scientist.

“Elon [Musk] is also a brilliant man, though he too is a physicist, not a computer scientist.” µ

Source : Inquirer

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