Eric Schmidt is stepping down as executive chairman of the Alphabet board of directors, said the company in a statement. Mr. Schmidt will be acting as a technical advisor to the company, and continue to be a part of the board.

“Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology,” said Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet. “Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he’ll now be helping us as a technical advisor on science and technology issues.”

“Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition. The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving,” said Eric Schmidt. “In recent years, I’ve been spending a lot of my time on science and technology issues, and philanthropy, and I plan to expand that work.”

Alphabet said it anticipates that the board will appoint a non-executive chairman.

[Image courtesy: Alphabet]