Alphabet Names Successor to Schmidt

Google logo outside the headquarters

Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. named the new successor to long-time Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. He will be replaced by board veteran John Hennessy according to the company’s regulatory filing on Thursday.

Hennessy formerly took up the position as Stanford University president and is one of Google’s first users. He’s a computer scientist who specializes in chip design. At the age of 65, he has been able to forge deep connections in Silicon Valley.

He joined Google in 2004 mere months before the search engine company went public. Aside from being Stanford’s president, Hennessy was also the dean of the engineering school when students Sergey Brin and Larry Page developed Google. This was mainly how he became one of the early testers of their technology.

Unlike Schmidt, Hennessy will be a non-executive chairman.

“It’s a privilege!” said Hennessy via email regarding the new role.

Schmidt stepped down in January after a 17-year run in which he played a central role in building Google into a global technology powerhouse. He will remain as a company board member and adviser on technical and science issues.

Shirley Tilghman also announced her retirement from Alphabet’s board which will take effect in February 15.

Over the last two years, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat, Google Chief Executive Sunday Pichai, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Google’s senior vice president for enterprise business Diane Greene, have taken on greater roles as the public faces of the company.

Airbnb Updates Company Positions

Google logo outside the headquarters

The short-term rental service Airbnb Inc also announced a change in executive leadership in the company.

Airbnb chief financial officer Laurence Tosi will be leaving the company next week. Tosi will be working full-time at his investment fund, Weston Capital Partners. The company enlisted a search firm to find his replacement. For the meantime, head of financial planning, Ellie Meritz will be filling in as interim head of finance.

Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky announced the promotion of Belinda Johnson into Airbnb’s COO. She most recently worked as the company’s chief business affairs and legal officer. Johnson will be responsible of the company’s legal, policy, and communication teams.

Johnson’s appointment follows the recent addition of Ken Chenault who is the outgoing American Express CEO. Chenault was announced as Airbnb’s first independent board director last week.

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