Two long-serving members of Alphabet’s board of directors who also played prominent roles as executives at the company plan to leave its board in June, Alphabet announced Tuesday.
The board of directors at Google’s parent company is saying goodbye to Eric Schmidt, installed as CEO to provide “adult supervision” way back in 2001, and Diane Greene, the VMware co-founder who ran Google Cloud from 2015 until late last year. The company also announced that Robin Washington, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Gilead Sciences, will be joining the board.
Schmidt came to Google after leading Novell through some tumultuous battles with Microsoft in the late 1990s. His job was to develop a pre-IPO Google, led by its young founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, into a more professional organization, and it’s fair to say that all worked out pretty well for Google’s investors. Schmidt turned Google back over to Page in 2011, and stepped down from the executive chairman position in 2018.
While serving on Alphabet’s board, Greene was tapped in 2015 to lead a revival of Google Cloud, which had struggled to connect with corporate customers despite (or perhaps due to) its technical prowess. Google’s cloud business grew under her watch, but never quite shed that reputation, remaining a distant third behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft in the public cloud computing market.
Greene announced plans to step down as Google Cloud CEO last November, and was replaced by former Oracle executive Thomas Kurian.