Google's Schmidt to sell $2.51bn stake

Google executive chair Eric Schmidt will face regulators over the company's dominant position in Search. (AP)
Google executive chair Eric Schmidt will face regulators over the company's dominant position in Search. (AP)

San Francisco - Google's Executive Chairperson Eric Schmidt is selling roughly 42% of his stake in the internet search company, a move that could potentially net the former chief executive a $2.51bn windfall.

Schmidt, 57, will sell 3.2m shares of Class A common stock through a stock trading plan, Google said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

The plan, which Google said would give Schmidt "individual asset diversification and liquidity," allows Schmidt to spread trades out over a period of one year to reduce the market impact.

Wedbush Securities analyst James Dix said Schmidt's stock sales did not worry him or signal a loss of confidence in the company by Schmidt.

"I'd be more worried if the current CEO or CFO sold a lot of their stake," said Dix.

Schmidt, who served as Google's chief executive until 2011, currently owns roughly 7.6m shares of Class A and Class B common stock. The shares represent 2.3% of Google's outstanding stock and roughly 8.2% of the voting power of Google's stock.

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