In late December, Alphabet announced that Eric Schmidt was stepping down as executive chairman. Reports pegged the departure as a result of the former Google CEO wanting to spend more time working on other efforts and we now know what that entails. MIT has revealed that Schmidt is joining the school as a “visiting innovation fellow.”
Schmidt will have a one year stint at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he will also serve as an advisor on a new school-wide “initiative to pursue hard problems on the horizon of intelligence research.” Beginning this spring, his new gig is not all too different from what Google is currently pursuing internally.
In his role as a visiting innovation fellow, Schmidt will work directly with MIT scholars to explore the complex processes involved in taking innovation beyond invention to address urgent global problems. In addition, Schmidt will engage with the MIT community through events, lectures, and individual sessions with student entrepreneurs.
Schmidt officially stepped down from his role as executive chairman last month at a board meeting. He retains a seat on the board and will play a role as a technical advisor on science and technology issues. At the time, he noted his desire to “expand” his work on science, technology, and philanthropy.
Meanwhile, the board appointed John L. Hennessy as Chair of Alphabet’s board at the end of January. The former Stanford president has been on Google’s board since April 2004, while a lead independent director as of 2007.