Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt has been named as the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity Media Person of the Year.

The award is handed out annually before the festival to a prominent personality who plays a role in shaping the future of the creative communications industry.

“Under Eric’s leadership, Google has truly changed the way people around the world access information on a daily basis,” Cannes Lions CEO Philip Thomas said. “He has helped build Google in an astonishingly short period of time into one of the world’s biggest advertising mediums and one of the world’s most valuable brands. We are delighted to honour Eric with this award.”

Schmidt didn’t take all the credit for the award, and thanked his minions at the tech giant.

“This award reflects the hard work of many people at Google working to develop new technologies to help advertisers thrive in the digital world,” he said.

He will be honoured during the Press, Cyber and Design Lions awards ceremony on the evening of Wednesday 22 June in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France.

Cannes Lions delegates will have the opportunity to attend the Google seminar on Wednesday 22 June at which Eric will be speaking.

Sean Greaney, managing editor of Marketing mag, will be at the festival. If you’re around, connect with him on Twitter via @SeanGreaney

All about Eric

From 2001-2011, Eric served as Google’s Chief Executive Officer, overseeing the company’s technical and business strategy alongside founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Under his leadership, Google dramatically scaled its infrastructure and diversified its product offerings while maintaining a strong culture of innovation.

Prior to joining Google, he was the Chairman and CEO of Novell and Chief Technology Officer at Sun Microsystems, Inc. Previously he served on the research staff at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Bell Laboratories and Zilog. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Eric is a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council in the U.K. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006 and inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a fellow in 2007. He also chairs the board of the New America Foundation, and since 2008 has been a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Previous recipients of the Media Person of the Year Award include, Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook; Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation; Sir Anthony O’Reilly, CEO of Independent News & Media; Tsuneo Watanabe, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings; Sumner Redstone, Chairman and CEO of Viacom and Gerald Levin, CEO of AOL Time Warner.