2.3. A MAN OF INFLUENCE
Thanks to Google stock options, Schmidt ranks as the 126th richest person in the world, according to Forbes. Schmidt also serves on Princeton University's and Apple's board of directors.
As for his personal life, Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, live in Atherton, California. They collect modern art and the work of contemporary artists and run a family foundation that makes contributions to environmental and economic sustainability projects. He is an avid private pilot, which may explain Google's interesting fleet of aircraft.
Toward the end of the 2008 presidential campaign, Schmidt came out in favor of Barack Obama and began stumping the campaign trail with the candidate. Despite Schmidt's preference, most of the 2008 presidential candidates, including Hillary Clinton and John McCain, visited Googleplex and spoke with employees.
Schmidt explained his personal position this way:
Well, people give for all—for all sorts of reasons, but my own view is that Senator Obama, now president-elect Obama, touched a chord when he talked about making the world a better place for all of us. His focus on the middle class, his focus on making education stronger, his focus on science, and his focus on doubling the research budget. All things which have largely been ignored under the current administration, those are the things that I think that really hit a chord and of course they didn't hit a chord with the opposition.
Obama told voters that Schmidt would be among the business ...