Alphabet’s top Lawyer Exits After 18 Years

David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer for Alphabet, announced his departure from the tech giant at the end of this month.  His 18-year stint at Alphabet and its predecessor Google will end clouded by an internal investigation into how the company handles sexual misconduct and inappropriate workplace relationships.

In recent years, a number of Google executives, including the ‘father of Android’ Andy Rubin, have exited amidst misconduct allegations with generous severance packages; Rubin walked away with $90 million.  Last year, 20,000 Google employees protested the company’s misconduct policies.

Drummond has allegedly engaged with multiple workplace relationships with women in the legal department. He fathered a son in 2007 with an employee in his department and married another employee in 2019.  Drummond’s departure note declined to reference or acknowledge these allegations. 

Drummond has been central to Google and Alphabet’s story.  As a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, he drafted the initial incorporating documents for then-startup Google.  During his tenure, Drummond oversaw a number of high-stakes litigations against the likes of GEICO and Microsoft, and also shepherded acquisitions of companies that are now seen as essential to Google, including YouTube and Android. 

The departure also comes alongside Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s decision to step back from leadership roles after 21 years at the company. 

Drummond will not receive an exit package, unlike some other recent executive departures.  However, he did sell $222 million in stock, most of his shares, since late last year.