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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."

Go deeper: Google Ventures' #MeToo problems come to light

Go deeper

Dead malls get new life

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Malls are becoming ghosts of retail past. But the left-behind real estate is being reimagined for a post-pandemic world.

Why it matters: As many as 17% of malls in the U.S. "may no longer be viable as shopping centers and need to be redeveloped into other uses," per Barclays.

White House now says Biden will move to increase refugee cap by May 15

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House on Friday afternoon said President Biden plans to lift the Trump-era refugee cap by May 15.

Driving the news: The announcement follows stinging criticism from several Democrats and rights groups, who said Biden was walking back on his pledge to raise the limit. Earlier Friday, Biden signed a directive to speed up the processing of refugees, but kept the Trump administration's historically low cap of 15,000 refugees for this year.