Google has a new top attorney.
The global tech company named Halimah DeLaine Prado as its head general counsel, CNBC reported.
Effectively immediately, she will take over the legal department from Google’s senior vice president of global affairs Kent Walker. The company promoted Walker to the post two years ago, and he added responsibilities, including overseeing Google’s policy, legal, trust and safety and corporate philanthropy divisions, the network reported.
“Halimah has been a trusted counselor and exceptional leader, having navigated a variety of cross-product and company-wide issues over the course of her nearly 14-year career at Google,” Walker said in a statement.
The appointment comes as the company prepares for potential antitrust cases. Google is likely to face lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a group of state attorneys general.
At issue is Google’s online advertising business. The company owns the dominant tool at every link between online publishers and advertisers. While the DOJ is focused on Google’s ad technology, investigators are also examining Google’s use of its dominant search engine to stifle competition.
In July, Google CEO Sundar Pichai joined chief executives of Amazon, Apple and Facebook to appear (virtually) before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill for a four-hour inquiry over competitive practices.
In testimony, Puchai told lawmakers competition helped lower online advertising costs by 40 percent over the last decade, with savings passed down to consumers. Competition, he said, has also set higher standards for privacy and security.
“At its heart, a discussion about competition is a discussion about opportunity,” Puchai told the panel. “This has never been more important, as the global pandemic poses dual challenges to our health and our economy.”
DeLaine Prado will oversee legal responsibilities and report to Walker, the company said. Prior to the new promotion, DeLaine Prado oversaw Google’s product legal team.
Fortune Magazine reported her appointment follows a scandal involving David Drummond, the chief legal officer of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. He resigned earlier this year over allegations of romantic entanglements with employees.
DeLaine Prado, a graduate of Yale University and Georgetown University Law School, will become one of a few Black women to hold the position of general counsel at a Fortune 500 company, according to the magazine.
Before joining Google, Delaine Prado practiced law in Philadelphia. Today, she lives in the Bay Area with her family, the company said.
“Google has been my home for nearly 14 years, allowing me to work on some of the most complex and important legal issues of the digital age with a world-class legal team,” she said in a statement.