Google's Schmidt to sell roughly 42 percent of stake

Fri Feb 8, 2013 7:50pm EST
 

By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is selling roughly 42 percent of his stake in the Internet search company, a move that could potentially net the former chief executive a $2.51 billion windfall.

Schmidt, 57, will sell 3.2 million shares of Class A common stock through a stock trading plan, Google said in a filing with the U.S. 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.

Shares of Google were down $4.11 at $781.26 in after-hours trading on Friday.

A Google spokeswoman would not comment on why Schmidt is selling the shares at this time.

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 7.6 million shares of Class A and Class B common stock. The shares represent 2.3 percent of Google's outstanding stock and roughly 8.2 percent of the voting power of Google's stock.   Continued...

 
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt smiles during a rehearsal of his MacTaggart lecture speech for the Edinburgh International Television Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland August 26, 2011. REUTERS/David Moir