|Google CEO Eric Schmidt is being considered for the role of Commerce Secretary, according to Bloomberg.|
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Google's ( GOOG) outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt is being considered for the role of U.S. Secretary of Commerce, according to Bloomberg. The current Commerce chief, Gary Locke, is being nominated to serve as U.S. ambassador to China, prompting chatter about his possible successor.
Citing a person familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that the search for the new Commerce Secretary is in its initial stages, with former Pfizer ( 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. A one-time member of the Apple ( AAPL) board, Schmidt was CEO of Novell and CTO of Sun Microsystems 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 Facebook's 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 TheStreet's 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. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.