Farhad and Mike’s Week in Tech: Sex Scandals and Silicon Valley

The Information also reported that David Drummond, the company’s top lawyer, had an extramarital affair with a female subordinate in his department. The two had a child together. When the affair was disclosed to Google’s human resources department, the woman, a paralegal, was moved into the sales department. She later left the company; Mr. Drummond still works there.

Hoo boy. I suspect we’re gonna get a lot more of these stories from Google and the rest of the industry. I mean, of course we will — we’re talking about a culture that has systematically sidelined women. It’s going to get ugly.

Mike: On the one hand, holy moley! The reckoning continues for powerful men across industries far beyond Hollywood. Matt Lauer just got fired for his own gross indiscretions, not to mention Charlie Rose and even Garrison Keillor, the “Prairie Home Companion” guy.

But on the other hand, while men may be shocked at the heinous acts being reported, the response I’ve heard from women friends is shock that men are actually being held accountable for these acts. For years this activity has occurred in many industries — maybe all industries — and countless women have been caught in power dynamics beyond their control. The fact that a wave of accountability has arrived is surprising, perhaps, but also long, long overdue.

Uber’s Bad Day in Court

Farhad: Let’s switch to a less ugly story. Just kidding — let’s talk about Uber.

Mike: Oof. But fair.

Farhad: As you know, the car-hailing company is locked in a trade secrets legal battle with Waymo, the autonomous car company spun out of Google. There were some amazing new developments this week. The judge in the case was alerted to a previously undisclosed letter in which a former Uber employee detailed a damning plan to steal competitors’ trade secrets.

This looks very bad! After all, this case is about stealing trade secrets. The judge delayed the trial and harshly rebuked Uber. “I can no longer trust the words of the lawyers for Uber in this case,” he said. “If even half of what is in that letter is true, it would be an injustice for Waymo to go to trial.”

Mike, you’re the Uber expert. Is this as terrible as it looks? How does Uber survive this case now?

Mike: This strikes me as the legal equivalent of getting caught cheating on your final high school exams by a teacher who already doesn’t like you. (Not that I, uh, have any experience with…

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