Google parent company’s top lawyer leaving amid claims of misconduct

Corporate Law

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The chief legal officer of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, who recently came under fire for his relationships with women who worked at the company, announced Friday that he will retire at the end of the month.

David Drummond connected his exit to the December departure of Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, writing in an email sent to employees that “the company is entering an exciting new phase, and I believe that it’s also the right time for me to make way for the next generation of leaders.”

The New York Times, Bloomberg, Washington Post and CNN have coverage.

Drummond joined Google in 2002 and became its first general counsel. He moved to Alphabet in 2015, after Google created the holding company and became one of its subsidiaries. He played a key role in landmark decisions, including Google’s exit from China, and oversaw its acquisitions of Android and YouTube.

In August, former Google attorney Jennifer Blakely wrote in an essay on Medium that she had a longtime affair with Drummond. Shortly after they had a child together, she said she was moved from the legal department and abandoned by Drummond.

Blakely also accused Drummond of having extramarital affairs with other women at the company, a claim that has been further investigated by a law firm that Alphabet’s board hired to examine its handling of allegations of sexual misconduct by company executives, according to documents obtained by the New York Times.

Drummond said then he never started a relationship with “anyone else who was working at Google or Alphabet,” the New York Times said, but he recently married another woman from Google’s legal department.

Thousands of Google employees worldwide protested in November 2018 after former executive and Android creator Andy Rubin reportedly received a $90 million pay package, despite allegations of sexual harassment. Some shareholders have sued over payments to Rubin and other executives accused of having inappropriate relationships with employees.

Alphabet spokesperson Jenn Kaiser told the Washington Post that Drummond will not receive a pay package. He was paid $47.3 million in total compensation in 2018 and sold more than $200 million worth of Alphabet stock in the past year, the Washington Post also reports.

See also:

ABA Journal: “Google ends mandatory arbitration of workplace disputes and ban on employee class actions”

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