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Eric Schmidt to sell Google shares worth $1.5bn

Google's former CEO plans to offload a quarter of his stock in the company.

Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google and former CEO to the company from 2001 to 2011, plans to sell 2.4 million shares of stock in the company, currently valued around $1.5 billion (£950m).

Over the next year, Schmidt will reduce his stake in the internet giant from 2.8 to 2.1 per cent and reduce his voting power from 9.7 to 7.3 per cent. It is his greatest disposal of Google stock yet, and first large sale in four years. Schmidt has sold 5.7m shares in the company since it went public in 2004.

Schmidt was CEO of Google for a decade until April of last year when the role was taken over by Larry Page, co-founder of the search engine along with Sergey Brin. Google granted Schmidt a $100m (£63m) equity award when he stepped down from the position less than a year ago, and he keeps $4bn of personal wealth invested in the company.

In addition to his work at Google, Schmidt sat on the Apple board of directors for three years ending in 2009. He is currently a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and was a major donor and advisor to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Following the election, Schmidt was part of the President's transition advisory board and considered by Obama for the government role of United States Secretary of Commerce.

In the 2011 Forbes World's Billionaires list, Schmidt was ranked the 136th richest person in the world.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.