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Google (NSDQ: GOOG) may insist that Eric Schmidt will remain as involved as ever in the management of the company even though he’s relinquishing the title of CEO, but Schmidt is nevertheless loosening his financial ties to Google — slightly. An SEC filing indicates that Schmidt has established a stock trading plan that would allow him to sell as many as 534,000 shares of the company’s stock over the next year. At current prices, those shares are worth roughly $334 million.
The filing says Schmidt is selling the stock “as part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity.” Schmidt has sold Google stock before, notably after the company’s initial public offering in 2004 when he sold shares worth roughly $258 million. The shares Schmidt now wants to sell represent about five percent of his overall holdings in Google, and if he goes ahead and sells them all, his stake in the company would be reduced to 2.7 percent from 2.9 percent.
Last January, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced their own stock trading plan, saying they would sell about 10 million shares in the company over the next five years. Those sales would represent about 17 percent of their holdings.