David Drummond, Alphabet’s chief legal officer and one of the longest-serving and highest tenure Google employees, is leaving the company at the end of the month. The news was first reported Friday by Forbes, and an Alphabet spokesperson later confirmed his departure to The Verge. The spokesperson says Drummond will not be receiving an exit package.
Drummond has been at the center of a number of high-profile sexual misconduct controversies at the search giant related to his relationships with employees, most notably Drummond’s 2007 extramarital affair with former Google lawyer Jennifer Blakely, who reported to Drummond at the time.
The two had a child together, which led to Blakely voluntarily switching departments after Google’s human resources department deemed the situation a violation of its corporate policies. Drummond also allegedly engaged in affairs with numerous other employees, Blakely later revealed. In September of last year, Drummond married a Google employee in the legal department.
Drummond was most recently one of several executives at the center of an internal investigation regarding Google’s handling of sexual harassment and misconduct, including the $90 million exit package given to disgraced Android co-founder Andy Rubin following Rubin’s own credible allegations of sexual misconduct.
Rubin’s exit package, and Google’s executive leadership (Drummond included) deciding to cover it up, resulted in the watershed Google Walkout protest in fall 2018, during which more than 20,000 Google employees worldwide stopped working to signal disapproval with how the sexual misconduct cases of Rubin, Drummond, and numerous other employees’ were handled. The walkout has since sparked a sharp uptick in employee activism and pressure on company leadership to better address sexual harassment and misconduct.
It is unclear if his leaving the company is related to the investigation’s findings, but Drummond is reportedly leaving the company of his own volition. The decision comes after Drummond sold more than $200 million in Alphabet stock over the last several months.
“The Alphabet Board’s special litigation committee was formed to consider claims made in various shareholder legal proceedings relating to past workplace conduct,” an Alphabet spokesperson said in a statement given to The Verge regarding the ongoing investigation. “The special litigation committee has evaluated the claims and underlying facts and has asked the parties in the various shareholder legal proceedings to work to resolve the claims through mediation. The special litigation committee will continue to be involved in the process.”
“With Larry and Sergey now leaving their executive roles at Alphabet, 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,” Drummond told employees in an internal memo provided to Forbes by Alphabet. “As a result, after careful consideration, I have decided to retire at the end of this month.”
Update January 10th, 2:18PM ET: Added confirmation from Alphabet that Drummond is indeed leaving and will not be receiving an exit package. Adding statement from an Alphabet representative regarding the company’s ongoing internal investigation.