He said Schmidt will have regular access to President Barack Obama and will serve as a key member of the national security staff. Schmidt will also work closely with Obama’s economic team to ensure cyber security efforts keep the nation secure and prosperous.
The administration received a reminder of the importance of cyber security on Tuesday when The Wall Street Journal reported the FBI was investigating hackers who stole millions from Citigroup.
The Journal reports that the theft was detected over the summer but could have occurred months earlier, or even last year.
Schmidt was appointed by then-President George W. Bush as a special adviser for cyberspace security after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He is a longtime public servant who directed the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
Schmidt is also a former employee of Microsoft, where he served as director of information security, chief information security officer and chief security officer. He most recently served as the president of the Information Security Forum.
When Obama announced he would create the position of a cyber security coordinator, he said he would depend on the official on all matters relating to cyber security. He also said the official would have his full support and regular access to the Oval Office.