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Top Alphabet Lawyer Marries Employee in Google’s Legal Office


Sep. 4 2019, Published 2:22 p.m. ET

Is the Alphabet (GOOGL) corporate family becoming a real one? This past weekend, Alphabet’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, married an employee who works in Google’s legal department, according to Axios. Google is the largest member of Alphabet’s corporate family. It contributed more than 99.7% of Alphabet’s total revenue in the second quarter. Other Alphabet corporate family members include autonomous-driving and ride-hailing company Waymo and life sciences research organization Verily. Through Waymo, Alphabet is battling Uber Technologies and Lyft (LYFT) for the $285 billion revenue opportunity in the global ride-hailing market.

Drummond’s marriage to a Google employee came just days after a controversy erupted around his past romantic relationship at Google.

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Jennifer Blakely, a former Google employee, stated in a Medium post on August 28 that she and Drummond had a son in May 2007. In the post, Blakely makes multiple complaints about Drummond. In addition to accusing Alphabet’s top lawyer of neglecting their son, Blakely also claims that Drummond dated other people at Google.

However, Drummond denies that he’s dated multiple Google employees. “Other than Jennifer, I never started a relationship with anyone else who was working at Google or Alphabet,” he wrote in a statement cited by BuzzFeed News on August 29.

Did Alphabet’s top lawyer break its workplace dating rules?

Google’s workplace policies prohibit romantic relationships in which a senior employee dates his or her junior. In what could put Drummond in a tight spot regarding Google’s workplace dating rules, Blakely wrote, “David was well aware that our relationship was in violation of Google’s new policy which went from ‘discouraging’ direct-reporting-line relationships to outright banning them.”

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Google is trying to put its house in order

These issues come at a time when Google is trying to bring more order to its workplace. It recently released new workplace guidelines that, among other things, discourage discussions about nonwork issues during work hours. Google’s new workplace guidelines come after a series of incidents related to employee unrest. For example, Google employees have protested the company’s contracts with the government as well as alleged sexual misconduct by executives.

Drummond’s relationship issues and Google’s attempts to bring more order to its workplace come as big tech companies face growing scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers on a wide range of issues. For example, more than a dozen US states plan to open an antitrust probe into Google’s ad practices. Alphabet’s treatment of its contract workers has also faced criticism.


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