The Wall Street Journal reported after the bell closed today that Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google Inc, has filed paperwork with the SEC to sell $1.5 billion dollars worth of Google stock. This stock sale will lower his stake in the global giant from 2.8% to 2.1%
Schmidt stepped down as Google’s CEO in April of 2011 to pave the way for co-founder Larry Page to take back over the company reigns. Schmidt was moved to the position of Executive Chairman. While it was first believed this may just be a position for show, Schmidt has continued traveling around the world selling Google’s agenda to world leaders, entertainment moguls and even the President of the United States.
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Schmidt has also been hard at work with his venture fund Innovation Endeavors, seeding a handful of companies, some that even touch Google’s core business’ like search, and mobile.
While Thenextweb has speculated that Schmidt is distancing himself from Google, that may not be the case. With the influx in pricing of Google shares Schmidt may have just decided to free up some of that cash to place elsewhere. There are no other indicators what-so-ever that suggest Schmidt is moving away from Google.
Last year it was rumored that Schmidt was a front runner for the Secretary of Commerce position in the Obama administration. In the 2008 election Schmidt was a major Obama backer. Perhaps he is positioning himself to support the President in his re-election bid and possibly get the nod for another position in the administration.
Who knows. But speculating that Schmidt maybe ready to leave Google is far fetched, especially considering he still holds 2.1% of the company even after this transaction. Schmidt has said he will not just dump all the shares on the open market, rather he’s going to spread them out over the course of a year.
The Journal reports:
The plan allows Mr. Schmidt to spread stock trades over a one-year period to reduce market impact.
Google shares had fallen 3.3% in the past year as of the close Friday, and were up slightly over the prior three months.