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Despite Criticism, Alphabet's Chief Legal Officer Earned $47M in 2018

David Drummond. Photo: Google

Google parent company Alphabet Inc.'s chief legal officer made more than $47 million in 2018, according to a proxy statement filed Tuesday, despite internal criticism last year that he and other male executives at the company did not face consequences for sexual misconduct at work.

The Mountain View, California-based company said it did not have further comment on whether the allegations against Alphabet CLO David Drummond raised in a New York Times report last year impacted his 2018 compensation package.

In the October article, former Google legal department member Jennifer Blakely detailed her multiyear affair with Drummond in the mid-2000s, when he was still general counsel of Google and married. She claimed Drummond only informed human resources after she became pregnant, at which point she was told Google didn't approve of manager-subordinate relationships, and it was made "clear it would not be David" who had to leave the legal team.

Blakely switched to sales and, a year later, left the company. The stories shared by her and other women spurred a series of walkouts from thousands of Google employees at offices around the world demanding the company change its alleged culture of protecting men in power accused of sexual misconduct. On Wednesday, Google workers staged another protest over claims the company retaliated against employees who walked out last year.

Drummond did not see any change in salary in the wake of the allegations and walkouts. His salary has held steady at $650,000 for the past three years. He, like the other executives named in Alphabet's proxy statement, has not received a bonus or nonequity incentives in at least three years. In 2018, Drummond's "other compensation" totaled $19,585.

The vast majority of Drummond's earnings last year came in the form of stock awards, not uncommon for tech industry executives. But his stock awards are high for a CLO in any industry, coming in at $46,612,647.

That could be an attempt to make up for lost time. According to Alphabet's 2018 proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Drummond didn't receive stock awards in 2017 or 2016. Alphabet's chief financial officer Ruth Porat received stock awards in 2016 and 2018. Chief executive officer Sundar Pichai was awarded nearly $200 million in stock in 2016 but hasn't received awards since.

Unlike Pichai and Porat, Drummond's executive title includes only Alphabet, not subsidiary Google. Kent Walker currently serves as Google's chief legal officer and senior vice president of global affairs, promoted from Google general counsel in August. Walker's compensation was not disclosed in Alphabet's proxy.

Drummond held the Google general counsel role from February 2002 to December 2005 and CLO role from December 2006 to October 2015 before moving to Alphabet. He's also served as Google's secretary and senior vice president of corporate development. Google was Drummond's first in-house legal role, joining the company from educational software company SmartForce, where he was CFO. He started his legal career at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, according to the proxy.

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