(Updated to reflect comment from Google)
Eric Schmidt, the former CEO, and current Chairman of the Board, at Google, is set to sell nearly half of his stock in the company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday.
Schmidt owns approximately 7.6 million shares of Class A and Class B common stock, giving him around 2.3% of Googles outstanding stock capital, and 8.2% of Google's voting power. Schmidt intends to sell up to 3.2 million shares of Class A common stock, which totals nearly 42% of his shares.
If he does sell the total amount of shares planned, Schmidt will reduce his stake in the company to 1.3% of Google's outstanding capital stock and around 5% of the company's voting power.
"The pre-arranged trading plan was adopted in order to allow Eric to sell a portion of his Google stock as part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity," it says in the filing. "Using this trading plan, Eric can diversify his investment portfolio and can spread stock trades out over a period of one year to reduce market impact."
"This is a routine diversification of assets and Eric remains completely committed to Google," a Google spokesperson told VatorNews.
This is not the first time Schmidt has sold off a large amount of his shares in the company. According to another SEC filing from February 2012, he planned to sell up to approximately 2.4 million shares of Class A common stock out of 9.1 million shares of Class A and Class B common stock that he owned at the end of December 2011. Seeing as Schmidt now owns 7.6 million, it seems that he only wound up selling 1.5 million of the planned number of shares.
Schmidt is choosing a good time to sell. Google's stock has been on the rise since it reported better than expected earnings in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The company took in $14.42 billion last quarter, up 36% from the same quarter last year. Google reported on Motorola Home as a separate line item, however, and had it been included, Google’s revenue would have been $15.24 billion for the fourth quarter.
Since the release of these numbers on January 22, Google's shares have risen a total of $82.50.
On Friday, Google's stock ended trading up 1.48% to $785.37 a share. At that price, Schmidt would net himself over $2.5 billion with this transaction.
Eric Schmidt is the current Executive Chairman at Google, a title he has held since 2011, after he stepped down from his role as CEO, which he had held since 2001.
(Image source: http://www.frandroid.com)