Jan 10, 2020 - Technology

David Drummond is out at Alphabet

Google's former chief legal officer David Drummond, testifying in Paris.

Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP via Getty Images

David Drummond is stepping down as chief legal officer of Google's parent company Alphabet, amid an internal investigation into sexual misconduct that involved Drummond both for how he handled complaints (including one against former Android chief Andy Rubin) and for his own workplace relationships.

Why it matters: Drummond has been with Google for nearly two decades, and in charge of everything from its legal and regulatory strategy to its investment activities.

  • Drummond's last day will be on Jan. 31, and he will not receive a severance package.
  • In recent months, he's been selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Alphabet stock.

Forbes was first to report the pending departure, which the company has since confirmed to Axios.

Our thought bubble: This is a clear signal that new Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai is fully in charge. Pichai, who also continues to run Google, has said that he would have no tolerance for harassment and that no future employees leaving after such issues would get exit packages.

What they're saying: Drummond today sent a letter to Google employees. It reads, in part:

"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... As I do so, I’d like to thank everyone with whom I’ve had the privilege to work so closely over the past two decades... I know this company is in the best of hands, and I am excited for what the future holds for Google, for Alphabet and for me."

Bill Maris, who founded Google's venture capital arm and reported directly to Drummond before quitting in 2016, tells Axios:

"The news of David Drummond leaving Google today brings to mind a quote from one of my most favorite creatures. 'At an end, your rule is. And not short enough, it was.' I had been asked in the past why I left Google in 2016, and I have never really commented on that. David Drummond is the reason I left Google. I simply could not work with him any longer.  It’s that simple.  We have very, very different ideas about how to treat people, and this was a long time coming."

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