GOOGLE CHAIRMAN Eric Schmidt is planning to sell 3.2 million of his shares in the company.
Schmidt, who was Google's CEO for a decade before stepping down and taking the position of chairman, has revealed that he is planning to sell a considerable stake in the firm. According to an SEC filing, Schmidt has given notice of his intention to sell 3.2 million Class A Google shares, which amounts to 42 percent of his stake in the company.
Although Schmidt hasn't sold any shares yet, stock market rules mean that senior executives must give prior notice before selling shares in companies they are involved with to try to minimise any insider trading effect. Based on Friday's closing prices, Schmidt's sale of 3.2 million shares will net him close to $2.5bn, however it is highly unlikely that he will dump all 3.2m shares in one go, a move that could cause Google's share price to plummet as investors question why Schmidt is so keen to offload his stake in the company.
Since Schmidt stepped down as CEO of Google he has in many ways increased his public visibility, making remarks on science and technology education and recently making a high profile trip to North Korea. However he has also been the man pressing the flesh in Washington, DC to try to appease regulators and politicians as Google has attracted attention from antitrust authorities.
Even though Schmidt is selling 42 percent of his shares in Google, it still leaves him with close to a $3bn investment in the company and he still remains chairman, meaning that his day-to-day powers will not be diminished. µ