Alphabet announced today that Eric Schmidt is stepping down as the company’s executive chairman. Schmidt will transition to a new role as a technical advisor and will continue to serve on the company’s board.

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Alphabet made the announcement in a press release this afternoon, touting Schmidt’s vision and accomplishments throughout his 17-year tenure. Schmidt was named Google CEO in 2001 and moved to the executive chairman role in 2011, staying there through the transition to the new Alphabet structure.

Larry Page says Schmidt has provided Alphabet with a “clear vision about the future of technology” during his time as CEO and executive chairman:

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

“Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he’ll now be helping us as a technical advisor on science and technology issues. I’m incredibly excited about the progress our companies are making, and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation.”

In his statement, Schmidt said that he, along with Larry Page and Sergey Brin, see this as the proper time to transition to the new technical advisor role. Schmidt says he hopes to expand his work on science and technology issues, as well as philanthropy:

“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 Eric Schmidt.

“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.”

CNBC reports that that Schmidt will “likely” work closely with and advise efforts such as Sidewalk Labs, deep learning, and healthcare arms Verily and Calico.

Alphabet says the transition will be effective as of its next regular board meeting in January 2018.

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