Google's Schmidt gains option to sell up to 42 percent of his stock

The trade plan would let him diversify his portfolio, a company filing said

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt may end up selling 42 percent of his shares in the company under a new stock trading plan designed to diversify his investment portfolio.

Schmidt owned approximately 7.6 million shares of class A and class B common stock as of Dec. 31, 2012, but in November he adopted a trading plan giving him the option to sell up to 3.2 million shares of class A common stock. That plan became active this month, the company announced Friday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The trading plan is designed to allow Schmidt to diversity his investment portfolio and spread stock trades out over a period of one year to reduce the market impact, the filing said.

The 7.6 million shares owned as of last December represented 2.3 percent of Google's outstanding capital stock and about 18 percent of the voting power, the company reported.

Based on Friday's closing price of US$785.37, the sale of 3.2 million shares would bring a whopping $2.5 billion.

Though there is no guarantee Schmidt will sell all those shares, the plan could be seen as Schmidt beginning to "cash out a little," said Greg Sterling, senior analyst with Opus Research.

In fact, "I wouldn't be surprised if he departs within 12 to 24 months," the analyst said.

Schmidt basically acts as an ambassador for Google with foreign governments, so it would be a natural step for him to leave and pursue a more official role as a U.S. diplomat or ambassador, Sterling said. In a closely watched move last month, Schmidt went to North Korea and met some of the country's leaders, though he called the trip a personal one.

On the other hand, Schmidt, who served as Google's CEO from 2001 to 2011, could just coast with his remaining stock even if he sold the 3.2 million shares, Sterling added.

Google will put out a separate filing with the SEC if Schmidt does sell off shares.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetGooglesearch engineseric schmidtInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?