David Drummond, the chief legal officer of Google’s subsidiary, Alphabet, has decided that he will be leaving the company. This comes after Drummond was at the center of many sexual misconduct scandals throughout his career and after he sold $200 million worth of Alphabet stock. The end of his 18-year career with the giant company will not be coming with an exit package.
Drummond’s Sexual Misconduct at Google
The announcement of his departure comes months after his marriage to another Google employee and Jennifer Blakely’s, a former Google lawyer, exposé covering Drummond’s actions during their extra-marital affair and subsequent marriage and child.
Blakely described their relationship that began in 2004 while Drummond was still married. In 2007, after the birth of their child, Blakely “voluntarily” moved to a different department in which she had no experience and struggled. During this time, Drummond encouraged her to leave the company in 2008 and when she did, he ended their relationship via text message.
Regarding his child, Drummond offered no support, financial or otherwise, and went as far as denying to pay child support while also fighting for custody, Blakey says. She also revealed that Drummond was still engaging in other affairs with Google employees.
Not an Uncommon Occurrence
Drummond responded to Blakely’s article with denial and in a statement, he said, “Other than Jennifer, I never started a relationship with anyone else who was working at Google or Alphabet. Any suggestion otherwise is simply untrue.” Nonetheless, his exit from the company is just one delayed result from Google’s notorious mishandling of sexual misconduct.
This includes when Android co-founder, Andy Rubin, was given a $90 million exit package after Google determined that the allegations were credible, which Rubin denied at the time. This $90 million compensation and Google’s attempts to cover up scandals resulted in the Google Walkout Protest in 2018 with over 20 000 global employees to make a stand against the minimization of sexual misconduct.
That’s because Blakely’s case deals with a top executive, but is not a unique occurrence in the company workplace. Claire Stapleton who organized the protests recently shared her own experience and the following retaliation. Another employee discussed the human resources department’s distressing handling of her harassment reports. Liz Fong-Jones, a former senior engineer, also voiced her “grave concerns” in the way the company makes any decision.
Even in Drummond’s other affiliate companies that he oversaw such as Jigsaw or GV, his behavior was no different. In an article, employees describe the toxic environment at Jigsaw for women in particular. And the founder and former CEO of GV, Bill Harris, alluded that Drummond is responsible for his departure and said that in 2016, he left the company because of him.
Google’s Next Steps
Rehauling an entire workplace infrastructure can be quite a feat, but with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements along with continued activism against Google’s mishandling, changes can be made. And as the top executives step down from their positions, this can be done with a new generation of leaders.