At the ripe age of fifteen, while he attended Yorktown High School, he got his first exposure to computing, utilizing the schools time-shared terminal on an ASR-33 teletype machine. His father had been so impressed that he rented his very own terminal at home, where Schmidt continued working for the school, rewriting software, which at that time consisted of only tape with punched holes. Schmidt hadnt always been interested in computers or electronics, which is actually what, led him to apply at one of the top Ivy League institutes, Princeton University.
After just barely being missed by the Vietnam War draft, which later played a major role in his political views, he decided to skip a grade, so he could pursue a career in architecture. It was during his senior year at Yorktown that he discovered his true calling, which led him into the field of engineering. After graduating he had considered both MIT and Princeton, but in 1972, he applied to the Jersey based University. Four years later, in the summer of 1976, Schmidt graduated, earning a Bachelor Degree of Engineering.
After, Schmidt wanted to move to a warmer climate, such as California, which was partly due to his newly established position at Bell Labs, whom at the time were responsible for inventing UNIX. Schmidt also chose Northern California so he could attend Berkeley University, for their highly regarded computer science program. As his education and experience progressed, he also worked at Zilog, and a part time professor position, teaching at Stanford Business School. During his time at Berkeley, he obtained his Master Degree in Science.
It was also there that he worked with some of the greatest minds such as Bill Joy, lead designer that wrote the code that allowed UNIX to operate on an architecture dubbed ARPANET, which essentially was the defining moment the Internet was born. Later in 1997, he moved on to Novell, where his experience and business savvy landed him the position of CEO. A position he held until his departure in 2001, after an apparent disagreement over an acquisition of the Cambridge Technology Partner.
Shortly after his resignation Schmidt was interviewed by Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, which they were so impressed that they offered him a position as chairman of the board of directors in March 2001. But, by August of the same year he was promoted as the companys new CEO, where he has held his title ever since. At first, Schmidt played a dominant role, overseeing new technology and development, which he soon discovered the true potential of what Google could become.
Since his arrival, Google has had such successes as Gmail, Google Wave, Android, and Google AdSense, which also led to the acquisition of the online video website YouTube. Eric Schmidt utilizes a business management model known as the 70/20/10 model. What this model states is that 70% of time should be dedicated to core business tasks, 20% of time should be dedicated to projects related to the core business, 10% of time should be dedicated to projects unrelated to the core business. Although credit for this concept does not go to Schmidt, it goes to Michael M. Lombardo and Robert W. Eichinger who created this model.
According to Lombardo and Eichinger (1996) The concept states that development typically begins with realization of a need and motivation to do something about it, and that a blend of different learning approaches in concert can provide powerful learning. Lombardo and Eichinger stated that the odds are that developments will be about 70% from on-the-job experiences, tasks, and problem solving. About 20% from feedback and from working around good or bad examples of the need. About 10% from courses and reading. (Wikipedia).
Along with the 70/20/10 model, I think that Schmidt also applies an administrative management approach, as well as a theory y approach. According to Jones and George (2011) administrative management is the study of how to create an organizational structure and control system that leads to high efficiency and effectiveness. They go onto state that theory y is a set of positive assumptions about workers that leads to the conclusion that a managers task is to create a work setting that encourages commitment to organizational goals and provides opportunities for workers to be imaginative and to exercise initiative and self-direction(p. 9,p. 59).
The 70/20/10 model creates the structure, organization, and control system that leads to efficiency and effectiveness by establishing specific guidelines on how time should be spent. I think a great example of Schmidt utilizing theory y is the pay cut he gave himself. Eric Schmidt took his annual pay down to $1 for the entire year, and didnt give allow Google to pay him an annual bonus. Instead he used the money to give other senior executives a $75K pay raise, and also an annual bonus raise.
I think this sends a strong message throughout the company that the CEO is going to take care of his own. If you think about Google today, its thought of as a catch phrase, Google it is something that is commonly used today. Google has become the premier online search engine, as well as online email. They have made great advancements in android technology, and Google is now a part of every smart phone made. This growth and success is attributed to Eric Schmidt who took over as Google CEO in 2001.
In 2007 Schmidt was ranked 1st out of 50 by PC world for being the most important person on the web. In 2009 Schmidt was considered a Top Gun CEO by Brendan Wood International advisory agency. It is clear through his personal success and professional success that Eric Schmidt was indeed one the top CEOs in the world. In 2011 Schmidt stepped down as CEO of Google, he now serves as the Executive Chairman to the company, and an advisor to the Google co-founders.