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Meet Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who turned Google into a global tech giant

Meet Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who turned Google into a global tech giant

American entrepreneur and software engineer Eric Emerson Schmidt served as Google CEO from 2001 to 2011. He is known for transforming the company from a Silicon Valley start-up into a global tech giant whose market is over $1.8 trillion today. Schmidt remained its executive chairman from 2011 to 2015, Alphabet’s executive chairman from 2015 to 2017, and its technical advisor from 2017 to 2020.

Schmidt is the 54th richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with an estimated net worth of $25.1 billion as of April 2022.

Early Life

Schmidt was raised in Falls Church and Blacksburg, Virginia. However, he was born in Falls Church, Virginia. He is one of the three children of Wilson Emerson Schmidt. His father served as a professor of international economics at Virginia Tech and Johns Hopkins University. He served in the Nixon Administration. Schmidt’s mother Eleanor had a master’s degree in psychology. Due to his father’s employment, Schmidt spent a portion of his boyhood in Italy, and he claims that this experience altered his perspective.

After receiving eight varsity letter awards in long-distance running, Schmidt graduated from Yorktown High School in the Yorktown district of Arlington County, Virginia, in 1972. At Princeton University, he started with an architecture major but later switched to electrical engineering. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 1976.

Schmidt lived at the International House Berkeley from 1976 to 1980, where he first met Wendy Boyle who became his wife later. Schmidt got an M.S. degree in 1979 from the University of California, Berkeley for developing the Berknet network, which linked the campus computer centre with the EECS and CS departments. He also received a PhD in EECS from the same institution in 1982, with a dissertation on the challenges of overseeing distributed software development and the methods available to address them.

Career

During his early life, Eric has faced numerous difficulties. He began his professional career by working for numerous technology firms. Eric was affiliated with Bell Labs, Zilog, and other companies early in his career. He served as Sun Microsystems’ first manager of a software engineer. In the year 1983, Eric began working for this software company. Eric began working with Novell as chairman and CEO in 1997.

Schmidt joined Google as the Chairman in March 2001. He was given the additional title of CEO less than five months later. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founders, were appointed presidents of products and technology, respectively, at this time. Schmidt was hired as “adult supervision” for the founders, who were still in their twenties, according to a Silicon Valley witticism. In fact, the three were a triumvirate that ruled Google. Schmidt is credited for infusing traditional business structure features into the corporation. In August 2004, he supervised Google’s initial public offering of stock and functioned as a company spokesperson.

During Schmidt’s tenure, Google, already the owner of a popular search engine, launched a slew of new goods and services, including Google News (2002), Blogger (2003), Google Books (2004), Gmail (2004), Google Earth (2005), and Google Maps (2005). Google purchased the video-sharing site YouTube in 2006, followed by the advertising company DoubleClick the following year. Google took on Microsoft with the Chrome Web browser in 2008 and Apple with the Android mobile operating system.

In 2011, Page resumed the Google CEO role he had abandoned ten years before, while Schmidt was appointed executive chairman, withdrawing from day-to-day operation of the company. Schmidt was appointed executive chairman of the Alphabet board of directors in 2015, when a new holding company called Alphabet Inc. was founded, including Google as a subsidiary. He held the position until 2018, when he left to become a technical adviser to Alphabet. He departed Google two years later.

Eric worked at Apple as a member of the Board of Directors from 2006 until 2009. Apart from these pieces, Eric is linked to some political struggles. But under Barack Obama’s administration, he was a PCAST member.

Personal Life

Schmidt wed Wendy Susan Boyle in June 1980 who was born in 1955 in Short Hills, New Jersey. In the 1990s, they resided in Atherton, California. They have a daughter named Sophie. Their second daughter Alison passed away in 2017 due to sickness. Although some of Schmidt’s connections outside of work have garnered media attention, he and his wife continue to support charities.

Achievements & Awards

Eric has received restricted stock worth $100 million from Google. He was also elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006. In 2007, he was additionally admitted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Books: Eric Schmidt has co-authored several books as well.

The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations, and Business, written by Schmidt and Jared Cohen, director of the Google Ideas think tank, was published in 2013 and explores the geopolitical effects of the expanding usage of the Internet and information access.

How Google Works: Schmidt co-wrote How Google Works, a New York Times best-selling book, with Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle in 2014. Rosenberg is a current advisor to Google CEO Larry Page and was previously Senior Vice President of Products at Google.

The Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell- Eric Schmidt wrote this book with Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle in 2019

The Age of AI: He wrote The Age of AI: And Our Human Future, which was co-authored by Henry Kissinger and Daniel Huttenlocher (2021). He made a brief cameo appearance in Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels’ 2014 comedy Dumb and Dumber To. Additionally, he made a brief appearance in the HBO programme Silicon Valley.

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