TECH

Eric Schmidt Steps Down As CEO: Larry Page, Google Co-Founder, To Take Over (LIVE UPDATES)

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In a move that has shocked the tech world, Google has announced that it will be replacing its CEO.

Effective April 4 of this year, Google co-founder Larry Page will become CEO, taking over for Eric Schmidt, who has been the company's chief executive since 2001. Schmidt will stay on as the company's executive chairman.

Schmidt, who was initially hired as CEO to provide more "mature" leadership, joked about the management shake-up onTwitter, tweeting, "Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!"

In a blog post announcing the management changes, Schmidt wrote that in his new role, he will "focus wherever I can add the greatest value: externally, on the deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership that are increasingly important given Google's global reach; and internally as an advisor to Larry and Sergey."

Noting that "the business has become more complicated" as Google has grown, Schmidt wrote in his statement that he and Google's co-founders, Page and Sergey Brin, have been "talking for a long time about how best to simplify our management structure," and looking for ways to "speed up decision making."

"I am enormously proud of my last decade as CEO, and I am certain that the next 10 years under Larry will be even better!" Schmidt wrote. "Larry, in my clear opinion, is ready to lead."

The changes mark Page's return to the helm of the company he and Brin co-founded in 1998. Page and Brin were co-presidents of Google until Schmidt took over as CEO in 2001.

Schmidt has made headlines in the past year with a number of controversial statements about privacy.

"Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it," Schmidt said at a conference in October.