Google’s top lawyer raked in $51 million last year — out earning music superstars Drake, J-Lo and Pink

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By Aishah Hussain on

Majority of Kent Walker’s monster 2020 compensation comes from stock awards

Kent Walker, Drake, J-Lo and Pink (images via Wikimedia Commons)

Google’s top lawyer pulled in a hefty $51 million (£36.7 million) last year, according to recently released financial docs — out earning musical superstars such as Drake, J-Lo and Pink.

Chief legal officer Kent Walker, 60, is said to have received more than $50.2 million (£36.1 million) in stock awards, on top of his $655,000 (£471,000) salary, Law360 (£) reports.

Alphabet, the tech titan’s parent company, revealed its executives’ compensation packages in a proxy statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday.

Walker’s reported total compensation for the year 2020 is more than a number of famous musicians made last year, according to US business mag Forbes. It published a list of the highest-paid musicians for 2020, which shows Drake apparently made $49 million, Jennifer Lopez $47.5 million, and Pink $47 million, last year.

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Walker’s eye-popping remuneration is also head and shoulders above what the top equity partners at US ‘MoneyLaw’ firms rake in. Our Firms Most List shows profit per equity partner (PEP) at only a handful of these firms surpasses the $4 million mark. PEP at Kirkland & Ellis, the world’s highest grossing law firm, hit $6.2 million (£4.5 million) this month — a fraction of what Walker reportedly took home.

Walker also serves as senior vice president of global affairs at Google, and as corporate secretary at Alphabet. He holds a degree in social studies from Harvard University and a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School. He worked as an assistant attorney in the US department of justice for a number of years, and went on to hold executive positions as general counsel at Netscape, AOL, and eBay.

He joined Google as general counsel in 2006 and was elevated to vice president of global affairs in 2018. He “oversees teams responsible for content policy, government affairs, legal matters, philanthropy, and responsible innovation”, according to the SEC filing.

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