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Google Chairman To Cash In 40% of His Stock

The move will leave Eric Schmidt with 4.4 million shares, or 1.3% of the company

Google’s executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt is going to sell 3.2 million shares that he holds in the company that’s currently worth $2.5 billion over the next year to reduce the impact on the market.

The move, part of a trading plan filed Friday with the SEC, will reduce his current position by roughly 40% and leave him with 4.4 million shares, or 1.3% of the company.

On Friday Google’s stock closed at a high of $785.37.

It’s supposed to be part of Eric’s diversification and liquidity strategy, which included selling about 1.8 shares in Google valued at $1.2 billion over the last year.

The intended sale would cut Eric’s voting power to 5%.

Needham analyst Kerry Rice told Reuters that it could mean Schmidt will play less of a central role in the company. “My speculation is that Eric’s relationship with Google is evolving,” he said. “I would assume that as he decides he wants to diversify away from Google – both his career and financially – he’s got ideas of what he would like to do with some of his funds”

Eric has been Google’s go-between with antitrust regulators in the UA and Europe, a job that’s winding down.

Forbes in September ranked Eric number 45 on its richest Americans list, with a net worth of $7.5 billion.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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