Eric Schmidt will step down as executive chairman of Google-parent Alphabet in January, taking on a role as technical adviser to the company.

Schmidt, who joined Google in 2001 and served as its chief executive for a decade, will remain on the company’s board. Day-to-day responsibilities will fall to Google’s co-founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and Google chief executive Sundar Pichai, who is playing an increasingly visible role at the tech giant.

The veteran software executive arrived at Google 17 years-ago as the adult in the room, helping guide the company’s young founders in building what would become an online search and advertising behemoth. He recently was a focus of a story examining Google’s workplace culture, where several top executives had affairs with subordinates.

Schmidt says he plans to spend his time working on science and technology issues and philanthropy.

“Since 2001, Eric has provided us with business and engineering expertise and a clear vision about the future of technology,” said Page, CEO of Alphabet. “I’m incredibly excited about the progress our companies are making, and about the strong leaders who are driving that innovation.”