In-House Counsel

Top Google Lawyer Earned More Than You in 2008

Google’s chief legal officer made a salary of $450,000 last year, but the number is misleading.

The pay check for top lawyer David Drummond dwindles in comparison to his total compensation of $5.12 million for the year, which includes a $1.38 million bonus and $3.29 million in stock and option awards, according to proxy materials released for Google’s 2009 annual stockholders meeting. In addition, Drummond earned nearly $11.9 million by exercising options and stock awards.

Drummond is doing better than average, according to a survey of larger companies released last year by Hildebrandt International. The average total compensation—which includes pay, bonus and value of long-term incentives—is nearly $2 million for chief legal officers.

In 2007, Drummond’s base salary was $250,000 and his total compensation, including option awards, was almost $2.5 million.

Drummond, a former partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, joined Google in 2002, initially as vice president of corporate development.

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