"Larry, Sergey, Sundar and I all believe that the time is right in Alphabet's evolution for this transition," he said in a statement. "The Alphabet structure is working well, and Google and the Other Bets are thriving. In recent years, I've been spending a lot of my time on science and technology issues, and philanthropy, and I plan to expand that work."
Alphabet expects that its board will appoint a new, non-executive chairman at its next meeting in January.
At least one media outlet has speculated that John Hennessy, Stanford University president and a member of Alphabet's board since 2004, could be on the list as a potential candidate to take Schmidt's place as chairman.