While announcing its fourth-quarter earnings Thursday, Google made the surprising announcement that Eric Schmidt will no longer be the company’s CEO. Co-founder Larry Page will be taking over the role as of April 4.

Schmidt, who has held the CEO title for almost a decade, explained the reasoning on his blog. He will be transitioning to an “Executive Chairman” position, which will include acting as a government liaison of sorts.

Page and co-founder Sergey Brin will each have their titles and roles changed, but it appears the Big Three will remain intact and continue to work alongside one another.

“For the last 10 years, we have all been equally involved in making decisions,” Schmidt writes. “This triumvirate approach has real benefits in terms of shared wisdom, and we will continue to discuss the big decisions among the three of us. But we have also agreed to clarify our individual roles so there’s clear responsibility and accountability at the top of the company.”

Reuters posted a Google timeline following the announcement, while the blogosphere continues to be a-twitter over Schmidt and Google’s announcement.