Thursday, Big League Politics reported that the Chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, along with many high profile business executives, have resigned without explanation since September.
“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,” said Eric E. Schmidt, former chairman of the tech giant.
There seems to be more to the story than philanthropic endeavors and Schmidt’s work with the United States Department of Defense Innovation Board, which will continue, according to Pentagon sources.
Some are speculating that Alphabet may be trying to distance itself from its resident playboy in the midst of the #MeToo movement, in which hundreds of corporate executives have been forced to step down due to allegations of sexual misconduct.
Schmidt has a history of randy activities befitting more, perhaps, of a young professional athlete than a 62-year-old technology executive.
In April, The New York Post reported:
Married Alphabet Inc. chairman and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is squiring yet another new girlfriend around town. Schmidt has been spotted out with socialite Ulla Parker, a divorcée known for her expensive taste.
Multiple sources tell Page Six that Schmidt and Parker, the glossy-haired ex-wife of Wall Street veteran Kevin Parker (who now runs Sustainable Insight Capital Management), have been spending time together after being introduced by mutual friends.
But, the man has a long history of stepping out.
In 2013, Gawker reported on Schmidt’s $15 million New York City duplex, described as a “sex penthouse,” which is outfitted with a wet bar, soundproofed walls, and a 3,300 square foot terrace. The duplex does not have a doorman, a curious feature for the W. 21st St. abode located in the ritziest enclave of Manhattan.
Around the time of purchasing the apartment, it became well known that Schmidt was dating Lisa Shields, now Vice President of Global Communications for the Council on Foreign Relations. According to a Page Six report, Shields openly bragged to her friends about dating Schmidt, and the two were often seen in public together in New York City and the Hamptons. Schmidt’s other flings include former CNBC correspondent Kate Bohner, and Marcy Simon, an angel investor and former producer at WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio.
All of this while married to his wife, Wendy. The couple remains together to this day, and when asked by GQ in 2013 if the two had an open relationship, Mrs. Schmidt refused to comment.
And then there was Schmidt’s infamous Instagram account. The now-deleted account was known for following scantily clad young women like Marissa Montgomery, who has grown up in her own right to become one of Forbes’ 30 under 30, or Brit Smith, now a performance artist.
A second potential reason for Schmidt’s abrupt departure could be politically-related. He enjoyed a somewhat cozy relationship with the Barack H. Obama administration, with “virtual open-door access to the White House” during the Obama years.
Schmidt was an instrumental part of the technology coordination of Hillary R. Clinton’s failed presidential bid in 2016. In fact, in an email obtained and released by WikiLeaks, John D. Podesta, Clinton campaign chairman, wrote to Clinton campaign spokesman Robby E. Mook:
He’s ready to fund, advise recruit talent, etc. He was more deferential on structure than I expected. Wasn’t pushing to run through one of his existing firms. Clearly wants to be head outside advisor, but didn’t seem like he wanted to push others out. Clearly wants to get going. He’s still in DC tomorrow and would like to meet with you if you are in DC in the afternoon. I think it’s worth doing.
He did, in fact, meet with Clinton, and later met with former president William J. Clinton during the early stages of the Democrat primaries.
Schmidt, through a company called Groundwork in which he was the primary investor, worked in an unspecified but seemingly important capacity in the Clinton campaign.
These days, Schmidt is not enjoying as close a relationship with the presidential administration.
In his first meeting with technology executives in 2016, President Donald J. Trump reportedly asked former chief strategist Steven K. Bannon if Schmidt was the guy that tried to help Hillary win the election.
Schmidt later claimed that the Trump administration would do evil things.
As for the official explanation, Schmidt simply said, “The time is right in Alphabet’s evolution for this transition.”
Closer to home, it might have something to do with the tragic death of his daughter Alison Schmidt, who was battling a long illness. Given his wealth, it had to be a punishing blow to have to bury his child, when there was no cure money could buy.
— Silicon Beat (@siliconbeat) June 10, 2017