Eric Schmidt has announced that he is to step down as CEO of web giant Google, making way for company founder Larry Page.
The decision reflects a desire to “simplify our management structure and speed up decision making”, Schmidt wrote in a company blog post. “We have … agreed to clarify our individual roles so there’s clear responsibility and accountability at the top of the company.”
Page was the original CEO of Google, until the company appointed former Sun Microsystems and Novel executive Schmidt in April 2001. “Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead,” Schmidt wrote yesterday.
Schmidt will continue to serve as Google’s chairman, while co-founder Sergey Brin will continue to lead strategic projects and Google’s product development.
The announcement came as the company reported revenues of $8.4 billion for its financial quarter, up 26% for the same period of the previous year and significantly above analysts’ estimates.
The UK contributed $878 million in revenue, 10% of the company’s total sales.
A filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Schmidt plans to sell 534,000 of the 9.2 million shares he holds in the company, which will net him around $330 million.