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Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt Is Part of the Group Trying to Buy the Washington Commanders

The list of billionaires involved in the sale just keeps on growing.

Eric Schmidt John Lamparski/Getty Images

Mr. Schmidt is going to Washington.

The former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is part of the group trying to buy the Washington Commanders, Bloomberg reported recently. Schmidt is apparently a limited partner in the consortium that Josh Harris has assembled to take over the NFL team, people familiar with the matter told the outlet. In April, Harris—who co-founded Apollo Global Management—made a deal to buy the Commanders for a whopping $6 billion, the highest amount ever paid for any sports team. (Spokespeople for both Schmidt and Harris declined to comment to Bloomberg.)

To reach that total, Harris has put together a group of billionaires to contribute to the pot. Along with Schmidt, the limited partners include the former NBA star Magic Johnson and the businessman Mitchell Rales. Just last week, Sportico reported that Alejandro Santo Domingo—part of Colombia’s richest family—and the property investor Mitchell Morgan are also part of the group.

Schmidt was CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, when he stepped down from the role. He remained at the company as executive chairman, and eventually served as a technical adviser to Alphabet until 2020. Despite no longer having an official role within Google, Schmidt is one of the largest individual shareholders in the company, with his stake contributing to most of his $21.7 billion net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

In the past, Schmidt hasn’t been that active in the sports world, instead opting to back entities like the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, in which he has a 20 percent stake. He’s also taken leadership roles in AI and quantum-computing firms, and he’s held an advisory position with the Department of Defense.

At the moment, Harris’s takeover bid is being discussed between the NFL and Dan Snyder, the current owner of the Commanders. While it isn’t yet a done deal, it could be approved by league owners as soon as this month. When and if the transaction goes through, Washington fans may be seeing a lot more of Schmidt—along with Harris, Johnson, and the rest of the ownership group—in the near future.

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