Google’s Schmidt may sell about 2.4 million shares

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google Inc. chairman Eric Schmidt could sell as many as 2.4 million shares of the company’s class A common stock as part of a predetermined stock trading plan.

In a filing with the U.S. regulators, the company said Schmidt adopted the Rule 10b5-1 plan last November and could begin selling shares this month.

Schmidt, who stepped down as Google’s chief executive last April after a decade of “adult supervision,” could bring down his voting power on the company’s stock to about 7.3 percent if he sells all the shares under the plan.

As of Dec. 31, he held 9.1 million shares of Google’s Class A and Class B common stock – wielding about 9.7 percent voting power.

If Schmidt sells his shares under the plan, his overall stake would fall to 6.7 million class A and B shares — based on Google’s outstanding shares as on Dec. 31 – or about 2.1 percent of outstanding capital stock.

Schmidt, who led Google starting in 2001 to bring more management experience to a then-fledgling company, became executive chairman of the Internet giant’s board after stepping down.