Google’s Drummond Is on Committee Seeking New NBA Union Chief

Google Inc. Chief Legal Officer David Drummond is among the six people chosen by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to serve on the committee that will help pick the next executive director of the National Basketball Association players’ union.

Drummond will be joined by former NBA player and union President Junior Bridgeman; ex-WNBA union president and current Nike Inc. executive Sonja Henning; Charles A. Tribbett III, a managing director at executive search firm Russell Reynolds; attorney Jim Quinn, a partner at Weil Gotshal and outside counsel to the NBPA, and Troy Carter, founder of management firm Atom Factory, whose clients include John Legend and John Mayer.

“The influence and marketing power of the players has never been greater,” Johnson said yesterday in a statement. “This search committee, consisting of some of the greatest thinkers and leaders in their fields, not only understand the purpose of the union, but where it could go with the right leadership.”

Johnson, 48, a three-time NBA All-Star in the 1990s, will head the committee in charge of finding Billy Hunter’s replacement. The committee members were subject to approval of the union’s executive committee. The association has said it wants to hire a new leader by the start of next season.

Drummond joined Google in 1992 as vice president of corporate development. He currently leads the company’s global teams for legal, government relations, corporate development and new business development. Drummond received $4.8 million from Google last year, down from $31.3 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

‘Dream Team’

“The group Mayor Johnson has assembled to lead this search is an absolute dream team,” NBPA President Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers said in the statement. “Each member of this committee brings a unique skill set, tailor made to help us finalize our extensive search and find the best executive director candidate.”

Reilly Partners, a search firm hired by the players in September, will continue to assist in finding a replacement for Hunter, a former federal prosecutor who was fired more than a year ago after an independent audit of the union’s business practices found that he failed to manage conflicts of interest, lacked proper corporate governance and didn’t disclose that his contract wasn’t properly ratified.

Two Candidates

Among the candidates identified by Reilly Partners are David White, the national executive director of the Screen Actors Guild, and Michele Roberts, an attorney at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher.

Agent Jeff Schwartz, whose clients include Blake Griffin of the Clippers, last month in an open letter to ESPN criticized the search process. He called for the search to be restarted from scratch. Schwartz did not immediately return a voice mail seeking comment on the committee members.

Hunter is suing the union to get the remaining $10 million on his contract.

The audit, conducted by the New York-based law firm Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP, concluded that while Hunter’s actions might not have been illegal, they reflected poor judgment. The U.S. Attorney in Manhattan is investigating union practices.