Alphabet legal chief David Drummond is leaving the company

Drummond had been accused of sexual misconduct.

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Drummond in August publicly acknowledged an affair with a former co-worker.

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The top lawyer at Google parent Alphabet is leaving the company, according to a filing, a departure that follows the publication last year of a scathing account of an extramarital relationship with a colleague. David Drummond will be retiring from the company on Jan. 31, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

In August, Drummond publicly acknowledged an affair with Jennifer Blakely, who had worked in Google's legal department who said in a post on Medium that longtime Google executive had neglected their child and threatened her. At the time, Drummond declined to get into a back-and-forth with Blakely, but said it wasn't a secret that "Jennifer and I had a difficult breakup 10 years ago."

Alphabet has reportedly been investigating how management handled the allegations of sexual misconduct against Drummond, as well as other executives. Google's issues with sexual misconduct include allegations against Andy Rubin, the creator of the Android operating system, who allegedly coerced a female employee into performing oral sex on him. Google reportedly responded by quietly dismissing Rubin with a $90 million payout. Rich DeVaul, a director at Google's X research lab, has also been accused of sexual misconduct. A year ago, company shareholders sued Alphabet for allegedly covering up the scandals.

A Google spokesperson said Drummond won't be receiving severance, but declined to comment further. Drummond or a representative couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

Forbes reported that Drummond sent an internal memo to colleagues saying it's "the right time for me to make way for the next generation of leaders." He linked his departure to the December decision by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to turn over leadership of the company to Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO. Drummond has sold millions of dollars worth of Alphabet shares over the past several months. 

Issues of sexual misconduct at Google and Silicon Valley more broadly have risen along with the #MeToo movement over the past several years. In 2018, 20,000 Google workers walked out of offices around the world to protest how management handled the allegations.

Outside of Google, ride-hailing giant Uber agreed last month to create a $4.4 million fund to compensate individuals who've experienced sexual harassment or retaliation by managers. The decision came after a more than two-year investigation by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

A host of tech venture capitalists have also been accused of sexual misconduct. Justin Caldbeck, a co-founder of Binary Capital, apologized for using his "position of power in exchange for sexual gain" and took a leave of absence following a report in The Information about his behavior. Chris Sacca, an early investor in companies like Twitter, Uber and Instagram, apologized for his behavior and Dave McClure resigned as a general partner of 500 Startups, which he founded in 2010, after a New York Times report about sexual harassment in the industry. Frank Artale, a managing partner at Ignition Partners, resigned after a complaint of misconduct and Steve Jurvetson left his namesake firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Blakely said Google moved her from her initial assignment in the legal team to the sales department after she and Drummond had a son together. Her career suffered because sales was outside of her expertise, she said.

After the relationship ended, she says, Drummond neglected their child and made "terrifying threats" to gain custody. She said he initially refused to discuss child support, and she called Drummond's treatment "nothing short of abuse."

Originally published Jan. 10, 10:40 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:44 p.m.: Adds background.