Serving as Google's CEO from 2001 through 2011, Eric Schmidt transitioned into a similar position on the executive board for Alphabet, Google's parent company. After 7 years as executive chairman of one of the most popular companies in the world, Schmidt announced in December that he will be stepping down from his role come January 2018. He will remain on the board, however, as a technological and scientific advisor. Schmidt said in a December tweet that he looks forward to working on Alphabet's future with current CEO Larry Page and President of Alphabet Sergey Brin. A report by the New York Times provided many of the facts presented in this article.

This role change has supposedly been in the works for about a year, according to a press release from current Alphabet CEO Larry Page.

Eric Schmidt and Google in Politics

Through the years, Schmidt has not kept his political affiliation private, as he was openly supportive of both President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton during their respective presidential campaigns, and he's been known to have quite the bromance with President Obama. Schmidt also served as part of the United States President's Council of Advisors of Science and Technology and Google's government relations team under President Obama. His government roles don't end there, however. As of March 2016, Schmidt is the chairman of the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, which is looking to transition the Pentagon to become more adaptive and innovative.

Google's political leaning, which had gone hand-in-hand with Schmidt's feelings, has led President Donald Trump and his cabinet to publicly scrutinize the company, along with other technology companies like Facebook and Amazon.

"The mood in Washington... is more critical of companies like Google and Amazon," said former Republican FCC aide Fred Campbell, according to Fortune.

Google, of course, has not been quiet about their feelings toward President Trump's decisions, making for some rough waters between the president and Alphabet. This may have partially led to Schmidt's ultimate decision to step down, especially because other people high up on the food chain at Alphabet have overshadowed his presence in President Trump's Washington, such as former New York Congresswoman Susan Molinari.

Eric Schmidt in the News

The former Google CEO's political affiliation may not be the only reason for stepping down. According to the New York Times, Schmidt has also been involved in personal scandalous behavior, which has recently been brought into light due to the overwhelming amount of sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood and beyond. Schmidt had been known to bring a number of different girlfriends to various Google and Alphabet events, even though he's been married since 1980.

In 2009, in an interview at CNBC, he brought up Google users' concerns about privacy, but instead of defending the company or denying the claims, he instead stated, "If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place."

While he certainly hasn't refrained from stirring the pot both politically and otherwise, Schmidt has also done a lot for Alphabet in his time as CEO and chairman. For example, he worked as a sort of buffer for the company, building relationships with other tech companies and organizations, as well as doing much of the public work, this according to the New York Times.

“He did a lot of that important public-facing work on behalf of the company,” said the author of “The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture," John Battelle. “At a moment when the world needs to have more conversations with Google about its growing power and influence, my question is not why is Eric stepping down. It’s who is going to fill the void.” #Google Parent Company