Nov 6, 2019

Report: Alphabet board to investigate handling of sexual misconduct

Photo: Tobias Schwarz/AFP via Getty Images

Alphabet's board of directors has reportedly hired a law firm to help an investigation into the handling of claims of sexual misconduct by executives, including by chief legal officer David Drummond, according to CNBC.

Why it matters: The company has been mum about Drummond, who has denied having relationships with employees other than one with whom he had a child. He is among the executives featured in a lengthy report from the New York Times a year ago about sexual harassment and large exit payments doled out by the company despite credible allegations.

From an Alphabet spokesperson:

As has already been confirmed in public court filings, in early 2019, Alphabet's Board of Directors formed a special litigation committee to consider claims made by shareholders in various lawsuits relating to past workplace conduct.

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Sundar Pichai named CEO of Alphabet, Google's parent company

Sundar Pichai. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Google's parent company, Alphabet, announced Tuesday that Sundar Pichai will take over as CEO of Alphabet in addition to his current role as head of the core Google unit. Pichai will replace Larry Page, who, along with Sergey Brin, will remain "actively involved as shareholders and co-founders."

Why it matters: Page and Brin, who started Google in 1998, have been increasingly invisible in recent years, not even appearing at key Google events.

Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019

House Judiciary Committee targets Big Tech but welcomes donations

Data: The Center for Responsive Politics via Sinclair Broadcast Group; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The debate surrounding antitrust laws and the monopoly power of major tech companies continues to heat up in Congress, even though members of both parties have accepted political donations from, and own stock in, a variety of Big Tech firms.

Why it matters, per Axios' Scott Rosenberg: For years, the biggest tech companies have been donating through PACs to lawmakers of both parties and building extensive lobbying operations in Washington in preparation for this moment. As legislators weigh new regulations, the firms will learn what kind of influence, if any, their investments have earned.

Go deeperArrowNov 23, 2019

At Google, twilight of the founders

Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 2002. Photo by Richard Koci Hernandez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Yesterday's announcement that Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, were leaving their executive posts at Google's parent company Alphabet was a surprise only in timing. 

What's happening: Page had stepped back from Google itself in 2015. From their perches at Alphabet — Page as CEO, Brin as president — the two founders oversaw the company's "other bets" on advanced technologies like self-driving cars and drones. Googlers have said that they became less and less a presence inside the company. 

Go deeperArrowDec 4, 2019