Eric Schmidt - $GOOG's Hastily Departed Chairman — Now Visiting Fellow at MIT
Adult supervision at Google ended a long time ago...
Eric Schmidt — former executive chairman of $GOOG was this week named an Innovation Fellow at Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) for one year.
"Schmidt will figure prominently in MIT’s plans to bring human and machine intelligence to the next level, serving as an advisor to the newly launched MIT Intelligence Quest, an Institute-wide initiative to pursue hard problems on the horizon of intelligence research."
Schmidt departed in January from his long standing role of “adult supervision” at Google. Babysitting pays well — Steven Levy at Wired Magazine recently wrote:
…17 years older and almost $14 billion richer than when he joined the firm. He will retain a board seat and employee status as a “technical consultant.” Google says his compensation ($1.25 million, plus bonuses as of 2016) will remain unchanged.
However, Eric Schmidt’s “Adult Supervision” role at Google did not change because of his recent departure as many news articles seemed to imply.
Adult supervision ended six years ago shortly after I pointed out that the young Mark Zuckerberg is CEO of Facebook and preparing one of the largest IPOs with absolutely no hint of needing any adult supervision. Yet Google’sfounders are a couple of yearsshort from turning 40 years old and are still not trusted to run the company. In early 2011 Larry Page regained his former position as CEO.
Schmidt’s legacy at Google remains to be written. I side with Adi Ignatius, Editor in Chief of the Harvard Business Review in this piece from January 2011: “Eric Schmidt’s Days at Google Always Seemed Numbered"
Schmidt was remarkably generous, offering me access to nearly everything the company did and giving as much of his time as I needed to understand the specifics of Google’s business. Yet it seemed clear that, even after five years as CEO, he was still the odd man out.