Eric Schmidt

Former Google CEO Schmidt to Head New Pentagon Innovation Board

Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive officer of Google, has agreed to head a new Pentagon advisory board aimed at bringing Silicon Valley innovation and best practices to the U.S. military, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

Carter is due to discuss the new Defense Innovation Advisory Board with Schmidt during the annual RSA cybersecurity conference in San Francisco. Schmidt is now the executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.

The new board is Carter's latest effort to kick-start innovation across the U.S. military by building bridges to the U.S. technology industry. The U.S. defense chief announced the board's creation on Wednesday during his third trip to Silicon Valley since taking office just over a year ago.

Carter and Schmidt will select up to l2 individuals to serve on the board, focusing on people who have led large private and public organizations, and excelled at identifying and adopting new technology concepts, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Modeled on the Defense Business Board, which provides advice on best business practices from the private sector, the new panel is intended to help the Pentagon become more innovative and adaptive in developing technology and more nimble.

Members will draw on their experience in Silicon Valley to advise on rapid prototyping, iterative product development, complex data analysis, the use of mobile and cloud applications and organizational information sharing.

"The secretary is always looking at ways to ... keep the department thinking fresh, bringing in new ideas, bringing in new voices, and he sees this as another opportunity to do that," said one senior defense official.

Details of how often the board will operate were still being worked out, the official said.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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