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Eric Schmidt to step down as executive chairman of Alphabet

Eric Schmidt will step down as executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., effective as of the company's next regularly scheduled board meeting in January 2018.

Schmidt will remain on the company's board and will assume a new role as a technical adviser to Alphabet. Schmidt first joined Google Inc. as CEO in 2001 but relinquished the CEO role in 2011 and became the company's executive chairman.

"Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology," Alphabet CEO Larry Page said in a statement. "Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he'll now be helping us as a technical advisor on science and technology issues."

Alphabet expects the board to appoint a non-executive chairman.