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30 Awesome Things You Probably Didn't Know About Eric Schmidt

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Eric Schmidt, famous for being the Executive Chairman of Google from 2001 to 2015, has also served on various other boards in academia and industry. Here are some interesting things to know about the American businessman and software engineer:

  1. It was during his time at Bell Labs, just as an intern, he rewrote Lex, a program used in compiler construction that generates lexical-analyzers from regular-expression descriptions, along with Mike Lesk.
  2. Schmidt joined Sun Microsystems as the company's first software manager in the year 1983, and rose to positions of director of software engineering, vice president and general manager of the software products division, vice president of the general systems group, and president of Sun Technology Enterprises.
  3. He became the CEO and chairman of Novell in April 1997, a time when Novell's IPX Protocol was being replaced by open TCP/IP products, especially with Microsoft shipping free TCP/IP stacks in Windows 95. He departed with Novell, following its acquisition by Cambridge Technology Partners in 2001.
  4. He was recruited to run Google by the founder Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 2001 and was paid a salary of $250,000 and an annual performance bonus. He became the CEO of the company in August 2001.
  5. He, along with the Google founder Larry Page and Sergey Brin, where ranked as the first in the list of 50 Most Important People on the Web, by the PC World Magazine in the year 2007.
  6. Eric Emerson Schmidt was born on April 27, 1955, in Falls Church, Virginia to Wilson Emerson Schmidt and Eleanor. He has two siblings.
  7. His father is a professor of international economics at Virginia Tech and Johns Hopkins University, who worked at the U.S. Treasury Department during the Nixon Administration, while his mother holds a master's degree in psychology.
  8. Due to his father's work, he has reportedly spent a part of his childhood in Italy, which he claims to have changed his outlook.
  9. He graduated from Yorktown High School in the Yorktown neighborhood of Arlington County, Virginia, after earning eight varsity letter awards in long-distance running.
  10. He initially started at Princeton University with a major in architecture, but switched to electrical engineering later, earning a B.S.E degree in the year 1976.
  11. He earned an M.S. degree for designing and implementing a network (Berknet) linking the campus computer center with the CS and EECS departments, at the University of California, Berkely in 1979.
  12. Three years later, Schmidt earned a Ph.D. degree in EECS, with a dissertation about the problems of managing distributed software development and tools for solving these problems, from the same university.
  13. He started his career in different technical positions in various IT companies like Byzromotti Design, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Zilog and Bell Labs.
  14. He, after being hired by Google, was granted 14,331,703 shares of Class B common stock at $0.30 per share and 426,892 shares of Series C preferred stock at purchase price of $2.34.
  15. He was ranked as the 136th richest person in the world, by Forbes magazine in its 2011's list of "World's Billionaires," with a net worth estimated to be $7 billion.
  16. He is one among the few people to have become billionaires based on stock options received as employees in corporations of which they were neither the founders nor relatives of the founders. One of the other people of such category is Steve Ballmer of Microsoft.
  17. During his time at Google, he was reported involved in activities relating to policy of no recruiting from a "Do Not Call list" or "no cold call list" of companies, that Google would avoid at all cost. This became the subject of the High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation case that resulted in a settlement of $415 million paid by Adobe, Apple, Google and Intel to employees.
  18. Schmidt, along with Dror Berman founded Innovation Endevors in the year 2010, which is an early-stage venture capital, with invested companies like Mashape, Uber, Quixey, Gogobot, BillGuard, and Formlabs.
  19. She has been one of the boards of trustees of Princeton University and Carnegie Mellon University. In the 2000s, he has also teaching to students at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
  20. Schmidt, Jared Cohen and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, visited North Korea in January 2013, despite the ongoing tension between North Korea and the United States. The North Korean government announced an indigenous smartphone, named Arirang on August 10, 2013 that is said to run on a slightly modified version of Android 4.0.4.
  21. In the year 2008, he became the chairman of New America, non-profit public-policy institute and think tank, which was founded in the year 1999, by James Fallows.
  22. He published "The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business," along with Jared Cohen in the year 2013, which discusses the geopolitical implications of increasingly widespread Internet use and access to information.
  23. He was said to be an informal advisor to the Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Following the Obama's victory in 2008, he was appointed as a member of President Obama's transition advisory board and then a member of the United States President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
  24. He is an investor in The Groundwork, as well as Timshel, its parent company, both of which were associated with Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
  25. Back in the early 1990s, George Gilder devised what is dubbed as "Schmidt's Law," when Schmidt reportedly predicted that the network will become the computer. According to Schmidt's Law: "When the network becomes as fast as the backplane of your computer, the computer hollows out, its components dispersing across the Web, its value migrating to search and sort functions."
  26. He married Wendy Susan Boyle in June 1980, who is currently the president of Schmidt Family Foundation. The couple lived together in Atherton, California in the early 1990s and had two daughters - Sophie and Alison. They separated in the year 2011 and their second daughter Alison died in 2017.
  27. He delivered the commencement address at Virginia Tech in April 2015, following his two million dollar donation to Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, which funded the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean's Chair in Engineering.
  28. He was appointed as the chairman of the DoD Innovation Advisory Board by Ash Carter on March 2, 2016. The board is reportedly being modeled like the Defense Business Board and will facilitate the Pentagon at becoming more innovative and adaptive.
  29. He and his wife Wendy Schmidt, established the Schmidt Family Foundation in the year 2006, in an effort to address issues of sustainability and the responsible use of natural resources. The foundation's main charitable program is the 11th Hour Project, while it is also the main funder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, which supports oceanographic research by operating RV Falkor.
  30. He along with Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle, co-authored the New York Times best-selling book "How Google Works" in the year 2014, which is basically a collection of the business management lessons learned by Schmidt and Rosenberg during their time leading Google.
  31. Eric Schmidt Net Worth: $14.2 Billion

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