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Alphabet Discloses New Top Lawyer’s $51 Million Pay Package (2)

April 23, 2021, 9:23 PM; Updated: April 23, 2021, 11:12 PM

Alphabet Inc.’s chief legal officer, J. Kent Walker Jr., received a total compensation package last year valued at $50.9 million, according to a proxy statement filed Friday.

Walker was paid $655,000 in annual base salary and had stock awards valued at more than $50.2 million, Google’s parent disclosed in the filing. Walker’s stock awards will vest over a four-year period.

He currently owns more than $11.4 million in Alphabet stock, according to Bloomberg data. Securities filings show that Walker has sold off more than $9.6 million in company stock since December.

Alphabet said in its proxy statement that Walker “oversees teams responsible for content policy, government affairs, legal matters, philanthropy, and responsible innovation.” Since coming aboard in 2006, Walker has also led Google’s “advocacy on competition, content, copyright, and privacy,” the proxy said.

Bloomberg News reported in 2019 that Walker was one of the U.S. technology sector’s most powerful executives, advising Alphabet on everything from antitrust issues to China policy. His protégés have gone on to lead law departments at some of Silicon Valley’s most notable companies, Bloomberg reported.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Alphabet’s proxy statement shows that Walker, who also holds the title of senior vice president of global affairs, became corporate secretary in January 2020. That was the same month that the company’s former top lawyer, David Drummond, stepped down amid questions about his personal conduct.

Drummond’s departure came after he unloaded $145 million in the the technology giant’s stock.

Drummond, who was Google’s first outside counsel and at the time of his exit last year was senior vice president of corporate development, still owns roughly $115 million in Alphabet stock, per Bloomberg data.

Walker, Google’s longtime general counsel, was promoted to his global affairs role in mid-2018. His general counsel position sat vacant for over two years until Google elevated Halimah DeLaine Prado, head of the company’s product legal team, to take over the role last summer. Prado now reports to Walker.

Google hired Walker in 2006 from eBay Inc., where he spent two years as a deputy general counsel. He previously worked in-house for three other early internet age technology companies—Liberate Technologies Inc., Netscape Communications Corp., and AirTouch Communications Inc.—after spending five years as a federal prosecutor in San Francisco and Washington.

Walker began his legal career in the late 1980s as an associate at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Robertson & Falk, a San Francisco-based law firm that merged a decade ago with Arnold & Porter, now called Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer.

(Adds in second paragraph that Walker's stock awards will vest over four years.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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