Eric Emerson Schmidt (born in Washington, D.C.) is Chairman and CEO of Google Inc. and a member of the Board of Directors of Apple Inc. He also sits on the Princeton University Board of Trustees. He lives in Atherton, California with his wife Wendy.
Schmidt left Novell after the acquisition by Cambridge Technology Partners. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin (with the assistance of executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, Inc.) interviewed Schmidt; impressed by him, they recruited Eric Schmidt to run their company in 2001 under the influence of venture capitalists John Doerr and Michael Moritz.
Schmidt joined Google's board of directors as chairman in March 2001 and became the company's CEO in August 2001. At Google, Schmidt shares responsibility for Google's daily operations with founders Page and Brin. As indicated by page 29 of Google's 2004 S-1 Filing, Schmidt, Page, and Brin run Google as a triumvirate. Schmidt possesses the legal responsibilities typically assigned to the CEO of a public company and focuses on management of the vice presidents and the sales organization.
According to Google's website, Schmidt also focuses on "building the corporate infrastructure needed to maintain Google's rapid growth as a company and on ensuring that quality remains high while product development cycle times are kept to a minimum."
Schmidt is one of the few people who have become billionaires (USD) based on stock options received as an employee in a corporation of which neither he nor a relative was the founder. In its 2006 'World's Richest People' list, Forbes ranked Schmidt as the 129th richest person in the world (the ranking was shared by Onsi Sawiris, Alexei Kuzmichov, and Robert Rowling) with an estimated wealth of $6.2 billion. Schmidt earned a salary of $1 in 2006.
Schmidt was elected to Apple's board of directors on August 28, 2006.
In 2007, Schmidt was cited by PC World as #1 on the list of the 50 Most Important People on the Web, along with Google co-Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. He is also on the list of ARTnews 200 top art collectors.
The Schmidt Family Foundation addresses issues of sustainability and the responsible use of natural resources. Wendy Schmidt, working with Hart Howerton, a San Francisco architectural firm that specializes in large-scale land use, has inaugurated several projects on the island of Nantucket that seek to sustain the unique character of the island, and to minimize the impact of seasonal visitation on the island's core community.