Disputes, Employee Misconduct Rattle Centerview’s Silicon Valley DreamsRead more

Drummond Departure Puts Spotlight on Google Venture Arm

Alphabet had hits with venture investments in Slack, Uber and other companies. But that investing success led to friction between the former CEO of its most prominent venture group—known as GV—and the company's outgoing chief legal officer.

David Krane, Bill Maris and David Drummond. Photos by Bloomberg. llustration by Mike Sullivan
David Krane, Bill Maris and David Drummond. Photos by Bloomberg. llustration by Mike Sullivan
Jan. 17, 2020 7:02 AM PST

When Alphabet’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, announced his retirement from the company last week, an executive who once ran the company’s main venture investment arm—now known as GV—issued an unusual public statement blasting Drummond. “We have very, very different ideas about how to treat people, and this was a long time coming,” said the executive, Bill Maris, adding that Drummond was the reason he left the company in 2016.

Maris’ comments revealed a behind-the-scenes conflict between the onetime GV chief and Drummond, who was an adviser to GV, one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent corporate investors. The Information has learned that the tiff stemmed in large part from growing friction over how Maris and other partners at the investment group were compensated as GV began seeing significant success from its investments. It has made lucrative bets on everything from Uber to meatless burger maker Impossible Foods. 

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