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Alphabet said that its board will appoint a new, non-executive chairman at its next meeting in January.

He will continue to serve on the Alphabet's board of directors, the company said.

Here's a look at Schmidt's 17 years with Google and Alphabet. Schmidt also plans to devote more time to philanthropy.

Eric has been with Google since 2001 when he was appointed as the CEO, a role he served with glory until handing over the reins to Page in 2011.

It is certainly an end of an era.

Alphabet made the official announcement this week and with full of praise for Eric Schmidt who has helped a lot in making Google a success. But he retained a highly influential role at the company and continued to serve in many ways as its public face.

Schmidt has been a key figure at Google for some 17 years.

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Schmidt took over the helm when Google was a three-year-old company run by the relatively inexperienced Brin and Page.

Through a Google spokesman, Schmidt declined to comment. However, Schmidt's new role as a technical advisor has not been elaborated much.

Alphabet Inc shares were unchanged in premarket trading Friday.

He also gave money and technical assistance to Hillary Clinton's campaign team during the 2016 presidential race.

While Google and the Other Bets may sound like a hastily named band, "Other Bets" here refers to the money-losing moonshots that Google wisely put at a distance through the formation of Alphabet. The company feels he was invaluable to the evolution of the company, as this was done without "throwing away the uniqueness that was Google during those early days". In recent years, Schmidt has taken to philanthropy.

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place".

In August, Schmidt thrust Google into a negative spotlight when Barry C. Lynn, a scholar at the New America Foundation, claimed that the executive had forced him out for applauding the European Union's decision to levy a record US$2.7 billion fine against the company.