February 10, 2013
Google’s Eric Schmidt To Begin Selling Off Portion Of His Shares
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is reportedly planning to sell off a sizable portion of his stake in the company, according to various media reports published over the weekend.
Schmidt, who ran the Mountain View, California-based technology giant for a decade before stepping down in 2011, is looking to sell off 42-percent of his shares in the popular search engine, Dominic Rushe of The Guardian said Friday.
That would equate to as many as 3.2 million of the 7.6 million shares currently owned by Schmidt, which owns 2.3-percent of Google, according to UPI reports. Those shares carry a value of $785.37 per share as of the close of markets Friday, which means Schmidt could earn approximately $2.5 billion total, they added.
“This is a routine diversification of assets and Eric remains completely committed to Google,” Niki Fenwick, a spokeswoman for the company, told Bloomberg via email on Saturday.
Google´s filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed that the chairman was seeking "individual asset diversification and liquidity,” UK newspaper the Telegraph reported. It added that Schmidt planned to sell the shares little by little over the course of the year, in order to minimize the impact on the price of the company´s stock.
“Last year, Forbes magazine estimated Schmidt's net worth at $7.5bn. A long-term technology executive who has worked at Bell Labs, Xerox and Sun Microsystems, he generated most of his wealth at Google,” Rushe said.
“Since stepping back from the day-to-day running of Google, Schmidt has become increasingly involved in politics,” he added. “He was a major donor to Barack Obama's re-election campaign and had been considered a potential commerce secretary or chief technology officer.”
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Schmidt dubbed China “the most sophisticated and prolific” hacker of foreign companies in his upcoming book The New Digital Age.
The book, which Schmidt co-wrote with 31-year-old former State Department advisor and current Google Ideas head Jared Cohen, also refers to China as “the world´s most active and enthusiastic filterer of information.” It is scheduled to be released in April and will be published by Random House.