Alphabet announced on Tuesday that it will be losing two of its board members, when their terms are up in June.
Those two board members include Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google and former chairman. The other is Diane Greene, who was in charge of Google Cloud, up until last year when Thomas Kurian – former Oracle executive – replaced her as head of its cloud business.
While losing Greene is a big deal, arguably losing Schmidt is an even bigger deal. Schmidt has been with Google and Alphabet since 2001, when he served as CEO of Google before Larry Page took over (and eventually created Alphabet, allowing Sundar Pichai to be CEO of Google, and Page becoming CEO of Alphabet).
Just to show how long that's been, Schmidt joined Google when it had several hundred employees. As of the end of the first quarter of 2019, it crossed the 100,000 mark, with employees. Schmidt became the executive chairman in 2011, and held that position until 2015 after the restructuring to Alphabet happened. In 2015, he was replaced by John Hennessy.
Speaking of Hennessy, he stated that "Eric has made an extraordinary contribution to Google and Alphabet as CEO, Chairman, and Board member. We are extremely grateful for his guidance and leadership over many years." While Hennessy didn't say it, in black and white, one could say that Schmidt was partly responsible for Google growing into the Google we know today – alongside co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, of course.
Both Schmidt and Greene will not be seeking re-election to the board, and their terms will end in June.
Alphabet announced that it added a new board member, Robin L. Washington, who joined on April 25. She will be part of the Leadership and Compensation Committee. Currently, Washington also serves as the CFO of Gilead Sciences. Adding Washington to its board makes sense, for Alphabet, as it has been pushing into health tech in the past few months. Bringing on David Feinberg to lead Google Health late last year.
This news comes just a day after Alphabet had its worst earnings report in the last six years. For a company like Alphabet, that's not entirely a surprise. It has been blowing earnings out of the park quarter after quarter after quarter. Growth had to stop at some point. In the first quarter, Alphabet announced revenue of $36.3 billion, which was a miss from analysts consensus of $37.2 billion. While earnings per share were $9.50 versus analysts expecting $10.45. Those misses were actually pretty big. But Google still brought in a boat load of revenue in the quarter. Investors were clearly not happy, with the stock dropping nearly eight-percent in after hours trading on Monday.
While it seems like Schmidt and Greene decided not to stay on the board at Alphabet after that earnings report, it is likely that this was planned well before the earnings came out. As board members don't just decide to not seek for re-election and then have a press release ready to go the following day. These things take time – especially with a publicly traded company.
Currently, there's no word on where either Schmidt or Greene may be heading next.