January will bring a big change at the highest ranks of Alphabet.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is stepping down from his position as Executive Chairman of the Board at Google's parent company Alphabet. He will remain at the company in a new position as a "technical advisor," and remain on the Board of Directors in a typical member capacity, building on his 17 years at the company thus far.

Google co-founder and current Alphabet CEO Larry Page made the following statement on Schmidt's move:

Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology. Continuing his 17 years of service to the company, he'll now be helping us as a technical advisor on science and technology issues. I'm incredibly excited about the progress our companies are making, and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation.

In the company's announcement of the change, Schmidt said the time was right for him to make a move away from the Executive Chairman role and into a more general advisory position, as he sees Alphabet's structure working very well under the leadership of Larry Page, Sergey Brin and current Google CEO Sundar Pichai. With this less-defined position at the company, Schmidt plans to spend even more time on "science and technology issues, and philanthropy."

The change in Schmidt's position will be finalized in January, when the Alphabet Board next meets. The Board is also expected to appoint a new non-executive chairman.