MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (
(GOOG - Get Report) outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt is being considered for the role of U.S. Secretary of Commerce, according to
The current Commerce chief, Gary Locke, is being nominated to serve as U.S. ambassador to China, prompting chatter about his possible successor.
|Google CEO Eric Schmidt is being considered for the role of Commerce Secretary, according to Bloomberg.
Citing a person familiar with the matter,
Bloomberg reports that the search for the new Commerce Secretary is in its initial stages, with former
(PFE) CEO Jeffrey Kindler also among the potential candidates. Another person told
Bloomberg that U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk is also a contender for the job.
A vocal and high-profile Obama supporter, Schmidt was
first touted by the media for a cabinet-level technology role back in 2008, but the CEO publicly
stated his desire to stay with Google.
Google announced earlier this year that co-founder
Larry Page will replace Schmidt as CEO
on April 4. Schmidt, it said, will assume the role of Executive Chairman, serving as an advisor to Page and co-founder Brin.
one-time member of the Apple
(AAPL - Get Report) board
, Schmidt was CEO of
and CTO of
prior to joining Google in 2001. The Princeton grad subsequently guided the search behemoth through its huge IPO in 2004, and has been at the forefront of the company's recent censorship struggles in China.
In addition to his business and technology expertise, the Google chief also has Washington know-how. Widely regarded as the president's biggest ally in Silicon Valley, Schmidt is a member of Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
The Google boss was included in a group of tech sector heavyweights -- along with Apple supremo Steve Jobs and
Mark Zuckerberg -- that
met President Obama
last month to discuss Silicon Valley's role in America's future economic growth.
Google has not yet responded to
request for comment on this story.
Shares of Google fell $9.22, or 1.56%, to $582.55 on Thursday, mirroring the broader retreat in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq slip 1.89%.
--Written by James Rogers in New York.
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