Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt is selling off nearly half of his stock in the Internet giant.
The news came about on Friday afternoon through a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the document, Schmidt owned roughly 7.6 million shares of Class A and Class B common stock, which represented about 2.3 percent of Google's outstanding capital stock and 8.2 percent of the voting power of Google's outstanding capital stock.
The former CEO is now planning to sell up to approximately 3.2 million shares of Class A common stock. That reduces his share in the Mountain View, Calif.-based corporation by approximately 42 percent.
Here's a snippet from the 8-K filing about Schmidt's (and Google's) explanation for the move:
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. The stock transactions pursuant to this trading plan will be disclosed publicly through Form 4 and Form 144 filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 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.
Soon after the news broke, Google shares were down -- albeit slightly -- in after hours trading:
Screenshot via MarketWatch