14 November 2018 at 16:32 BST

Newspaper finds veteran legal counsel at heart of Google scandal

A scandal that engulfed Google had a veteran Silicon Valley corporate counsel at the heart of it all, says New York Times.

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David Drummond, the chief legal officer of Google parent Alphabet Inc, had an extramarital affair and fathered a child with a subordinate who was later asked to leave her post, according to a the New York Times report.

Lax approach

Mr Drummond was among a handful of senior executives cited by the Times, which indicated that Google has taken a lax approach to relationships between supervisors and their subordinates, to the detriment of the lower level employees. Bloomberg Law published details of an e-mail provided by Google which was sent to employees by ceo Sundar Pichai and Eileen Naughton, vp people operations, saying the company was ‘dead serious’ about making sure it offers a ‘safe and inclusive workplace.’ The e-mail also stated the company had taken an ‘increasingly hard line on inappropriate conduct by people in positions of authority,’ updating company policy to ‘require all vps and svps to disclose any relationship with a co-worker regardless of reporting line or presence of conflict.’

Relationship history

Mr Drummond, who is also chairman of CapitalG the venture capital fund of Alphabet and the company’s first ever outside counsel, has worked with Google since 1998 , having started working with them as a partner in the corporate transactions group at Wilson Sonsini. The extramarital relationship started in 2004 with Jennifer Blakely, who was an in-house senior contract manager at Google, where Mr Drummond began work in 2002 as general counsel, according to the Times, and the couple had a son in 2007 and Mr Drummond disclosed the relationship to the company resulting in Ms Blakely being asked to leave because relationships between managers and subordinates were ‘discouraged.’ Ms Blakely told the Times that she had ‘signed waivers, releases and whatever else they wanted. to assert that she had left the company voluntarily, adding ‘Google felt like I was the liability.’

 
   
 
 
 

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