When he was a computer science undergrad at UC Berkeley, Google chairman Eric Schmidt used to show up to class wearing his black leather motorcycle gear and carrying his helmet.He told that story to the Cal Alumni Association magazine, which was interviewing Schmidt after he won the university’s alum of the year award:
“To combat the image that people had of engineers, I of course had my motorcycle with my black leathers….So I would go to computer science class in my leather outfit with my helmet in hand. It didn’t seem to make the grades any better or worse. It certainly made me a lot cooler.”
He also revealed that he still drives an old model Ferrari, which broke down on highway 101 as he drove to the interview, and that he has a pilot’s licence and flies jets.
The man has a need for speed, apparently. “I enjoy 1-G travel,” he told the interviewer.
Schmidt’s old classmate — and current Berkeley computer science professor — Randy Katz joked that Schmidt’s motorcycle riding used to scare his mother. But on a more serious note, Katz said that Schmidt is a gentleman with a heart of steel, and that he fully expects him to end up in Washington, D.C. someday:
“I always expected him—and still do—to end his career in some high-level job in Washington, something like Secretary of Commerce. His expertise would certainly help give a 21st-century kick to the way we think about job creation, regulation, and doing business in this country.”