“Google Inc Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is selling roughly 42 percent of his stake in the Internet search company, a move that could potentially net the former chief executive a $2.51 billion windfall,” Alexei Oreskovic reports for Reuters.

“Schmidt, 57, will sell 3.2 million shares of Class A common stock through a stock trading plan, Google said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.,” Oreskovic reports. “The plan, which Google said would give Schmidt ‘individual asset diversification and liquidity,’ allows Schmidt to spread trades out over a period of one year to reduce the market impact.”

Oreskovic reports, “A Google spokeswoman would not comment on why Schmidt is selling the shares at this time. Wedbush Securities analyst James Dix said Schmidt’s stock sales did not worry him or signal a loss of confidence in the company by Schmidt. ‘I’d be more worried if the current CEO or CFO sold a lot of their stake,’ said Dix.”

“The fact that Schmidt will still own a significant amount of shares after the sales means he’ll have a good deal of ‘skin in the Google game,’ said Needham & Co analyst Kerry Rice. But he said it could hint at Schmidt playing a less central role within the company going forward,” Oreskovic reports. “‘My speculation is that Eric’s relationship with Google is evolving,’ said Rice. ‘I would assume that as he decides he wants to diversify away from Google – both his career and financially – he’s got ideas of what he would like to do with some of his funds.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Tunnel building?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]