Eric Schmidt to offload 3.2M shares, or about 42% of his stake in Google

Eric Schmidt
You old rascal

Update: If there was any question Eric Schmidt might jump the good ship Google, the company would like to note that's not the case:

"This is a routine diversification of assets and Eric remains completely committed to Google," a spokesperson said in a statement sent to TechRadar.

If Schmidt's share-selling ways continue, however, the company could be singing a different tune come next year.

Original story continues below...

There's selling stock and then there's selling Google stock, the latter of which Eric Schmidt has handedly decided to partake in.

In a U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) form filed Friday, it was learned that Google's executive chairman plans to sell up to 3.2 million shares of Class A common stock in the company. Just how much are those stocks worth? About $2.51 billion, figured MarketWatch.

The filing reveals why Schmidt, who stepped down as CEO of Google in 2011, decided to put the stock up for sale:

"The pre-arranged trading plan was adopted 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 read.

When the rich get richer

Schmidt can take up to one year to "spread stock trades out" in order to minimize market impact, the SEC filing noted.

As of Dec. 31, 2012, Schmidt owned 7.6 million shares in the company common stock, or about 2.3 percent of Google and approximately 8.2 percent voting power in the Mountain View firm's outstanding capital stock.

If all 3.2 million shares are sold, Schmidt will have unloaded about 42 percent of his stake in the company, though he won't be left in the cold.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Schmidt would still own 1.3 percent of Google plus command 5 percent voting power.

This isn't the first time Schmidt has put his shares on the market: over the past year, he's parted with about 1.8 million of his Google shares, worth $1.2 billion.

Perhaps Schmidt is planning for retirement, building up college funds or simply doesn't want the weight of millions of slips of paper weighing down his portfolio. Either way, he'll walk away an even richer man if he's able to sell just a fraction of the shares.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.