Alphabet today announced a change of role for its long-time executive Eric Schmidt who will henceforth be serving the role of a technical advisor to the company. The change would be effective from the next board meeting scheduled in Jan. 2018 when Eric would be formally stepping down from the position he has served with zeal so far, that of the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Eric will, however, continue to be a member of the board while his contribution to the company would be limited to a technical advisor, offering the company valuable insights on issues of science and technology. That again isn’t anything new given that he has already been doing the same since 2001 when he first joined the company.

For Eric, this does not seem to be a surprise move, but a calculated development, one that has been taken in consultation with the top leadership at Alphabet. Those include Lary Page, Sergey Brin, and Sundar Pichai.

“Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition,” Eric said about his decision.

Eric also stated he has been pursuing other interests off late, which includes philanthropy along with of course science and technology issues, things that would be keeping him busy as he starts a new phase of his life. Eric has been associated with Google since 2001 when he joined the company as CEO, a position he held till 2011 when Page took over as the chief executive. Prior to that, he has been associated with Sun Microsystems and Novell.

The last time there was a major reshuffle within the company was when Alphabet came into being as the parent company of Google and other associated companies. That was in 2015, and Lary Page assumed the role of the CEO while Sergey Brin became the president. Sundar Pichai was then handed over the reins of Google.

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The Mountain View company did not elaborate why there is another change in the top order. A non-executive chairman is expected to be appointed by the board when it meets in Jan, the company said in its press release.