CANNES: Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, will be named Media Person of the Year at this year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Schmidt, who became ceo at the online search firm in 2001 before stepping down earlier this year, was praised by festival organisers for helping Google to scale its network infrastructure and diversify its product range.

Asided from its core search business, Google has launched a range of other services over recent years, including Google Maps and Google Buzz, a social networking tool.

During Schmidt's tenure, the company has made acquisitions of other online companies including YouTube, the world's biggest online video site. Android, Google's mobile phone operating system, now powers around one-third of the smartphones sold worldwide, according to figures from Gartner.

The company remains the undisputed market leader in search advertising, which is still the most efficiently-monetised type of online marketing communications.

"Under Eric's leadership, Google has truly changed the way people around the world access information on a daily basis," Philip Thomas, Cannes Lions ceo, added.

"He has helped build Google in an astonishingly short period of time into one of the world's biggest advertising media and one of the world's most valuable brands."

Schmidt will recieve his award during Cannes festival week on Wednesday June 22nd, while the Creative Effectiveness Lions, a new category for this year, will be handed out on the 25th.

Only Lion-winners from 2010 able to prove the sustained business results of their campaign are eligible for the Creative Effectiveness category. The winning case studies will be published on Warc.

Data sourced from Cannes Lions; additional content by Warc staff