Alphabet’s Chief Legal Officer David Drummond offered a non-apology Thursday to a woman who at various points was his employee, his extramarital partner, and the mother of his child. She accused him of ruining her life.
Jennifer Blakely, a Silicon Valley angel investor and former senior contracts manager for Google, described the tumultuous course of their relationship in a detailed blog post published Wednesday. Drummond was formerly Google’s general counsel and therefore Blakely’s boss when the two began their relationship in 2004. They had a son in 2007, at which point Drummond disclosed their relationship to their employer.
Blakely made a number of damning allegations in her new post. She said that once Google knew of her relationship with Drummond, the company forced her to transfer to the sales department, an area where she had no experience. She also accused Drummond of failing to pay child support until she filed a custody suit against him, of ignoring their son, and of sleeping with other subordinates.
“I knew David’s treatment of our son and me was nothing short of abuse,” she wrote.
Drummond gave a statement, first reported by BuzzFeed News, in which he called himself “far from perfect” and that he and Blakely had a “difficult” breakup that he regretted. He did not apologize to her and denied her claim that he dated another colleague at Google.
Drummond’s power at the company is difficult to overstate. He has been with Google since 2002 and was present for many key moments in the company’s history, including when Google made its public debut on the stock exchange in 2004. At prominent Congressional hearings, Drummond at times sat directly behind former Google CEO Eric Schmidt as he testified.
News of Drummond and Blakely’s relationship was first reported in a New York Times story that detailed how the company paid Android creator Andy Rubin a $90 million severance package after he allegedly coerced subordinates into sexual acts during the course of their relationship. The story also described how Google’s founders and executives often dated employees. The report prompted Google employees across the globe to walk out of work in protest.
In her Medium post, Blakely wrote that once, when she confronted Drummond over his behavior, he pointed to a news article about Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s philandering to justify himself. Google’s culture, she wrote, permitted such conduct.
“I see how standards that I was willing to indulge early on became institutionalized behavior as Google’s world prominence grew and its executives grew more powerful,” she wrote. “For me, the abuse of power didn’t stop with being pushed out. Afterwards I was pushed down, lest I got in the way of the behavior that had become even more oppressive and entitled.
Drummond concluded his statement tersely: “I know Jennifer feels wronged and understand that she wants to speak out about it. But I won’t be getting into a public back and forth about these personal matters.”
Blakely did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Drummond could not be reached for comment.