For companies making legal moves in the c-suite during 2021, it was go big or go home.
Nearly 20% of Fortune 100 businesses made a switch in their top legal management over the last year. Two of those companies, Raytheon Technologies Corp. and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., announced in December their appointment of new top lawyers in Raja Maharajh and Damon Hart, respectively.
Two others—Phillips 66 and 3M Co.—are looking for new legal chiefs.
Ivan Fong will soon leave his role as chief legal and policy officer and corporate secretary at 3M to join medical device company Medtronic PLC. Phillips 66 has not publicly named a successor for Paula Johnson—its general counsel, corporate secretary, and head of legal and government affairs—who is retiring at year’s end.
The Walt Disney Co. and the Coca-Cola Co. also made a pair of high-profile legal chief appointments this year in Horacio Gutierrez and Monica Howard Douglas, whose respective new roles made waves given that they now control the purse strings for legal budgets that support many large law firms.
Here are some of the most notable in-house legal leadership changes this year.
The financial services space—long one of the more lucrative sectors in terms of total compensation for top in-house lawyers—dominated legal department moves in 2021.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. hired Kathryn Ruemmler from Latham & Watkins to replace former legal chief Karen Seymour, who returned to Sullivan & Cromwell. Bank of America Corp. promoted Lauren Mogensen to succeed its longtime general counsel, David Leitch, and Citigroup Inc. hired Brent McIntosh from the Treasury Department to take over from retiring legal group leader Rohan Weerasinghe.
Deutsche Bank AG turned to in-house veteran John Farry to succeed Joseph Salama as its Americas general counsel. Salama, who took over that role last year from Steven Reich, became Deutsche Bank’s anti-money laundering chief over the summer. UBS Group AG tapped Rio Tinto PLC’s former top lawyer, Barbara Levi, to be its new group general counsel. The Swiss bank also saw longtime in-house lawyer Andrew Hollenbeck leave this year to become legal chief at Soros Fund Management.
Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management named its first general counsel in five years in D. Forest Wolfe. Wood’s former employer, AllianceBernstein Holding Corp., promoted Mark Manley to take over from its retiring longtime legal leader Laurence Cranch. Kenneth Griffin’s Citadel Securities hired former CFTC chairman Heath Tarbert to succeed its retiring legal chief, Stephen Luparello, while Stanley Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Fund Services looked to Jones Day of counsel William Axtman to take over from its former legal and compliance chief, David High.
The digital asset space remained robust for legal hiring, as venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz landed Latham partner Miles Jennings to be its cryptocurrency-focused general counsel. Robinhood Markets Inc. hired Benjamin Melnicki, chief compliance officer at Grayscale Investments, to be compliance chief of its cryptocurrency unit. West Realm Shires Services Inc., operator of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.US, hired Sullivan & Cromwell’s Ryne Miller to be its general counsel.
PayPal Holdings Inc. said its longtime business and legal affairs chief A. Louise Pentland would depart at year’s end and be replaced by general counsel Bimal Patel. Credit card rivals Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. reshuffled their own legal ranks by elevating Julie Rottenberg and Richard Verma, respectively, to general counsel. Private equity firms Thoma Bravo and TPG Capital also named new legal chief this year in Gerald Nowak and Deirdre Harding, respectively.
Food & Beverage
McDonald’s Corp., found a successor for longtime top lawyer Jerry Krulewitch in former Boston Scientific Corp. general counsel Desiree Ralls-Morrison. The company promoted Angela Steele to U.S. legal chief.
Coca-Cola, which has been busy this year reshuffling its own legal ranks, made perhaps the most unexpected move of the year by pushing out the newly hired Bradley Gayton and installing in-house veteran Douglas in its top legal role.
Gayton’s ouster came after he announced an aggressive new diversity policy for outside law firms working with the Atlanta-based soft drink giant. Gayton, who moved in a strategic consultant role with a $12 million pay package, soon lined up a new board position and backed a dispute resolution startup.
Meanwhile, Coke’s archrival PepsiCo. Inc. promoted David Flavell to general counsel and corporate secretary, succeeding the retired David Yawman.
Elsewhere in the industry, spirits conglomerate Diageo PLC hired Linklaters partner Tom Shropshire to succeed its retiring general counsel Siobhán Moriarty, while the Molson Coors Beverage Co. recruited Anne-Marie D’Angelo from NiSource Inc. to legal and government affairs chief. The Hershey Co. promoted James Turoff to its top legal role, replacing the departed Damien Atkins. Newly public Utz Brands Inc. tapped Theresa Robbins Shea to be its general counsel and corporate secretary.
Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna Inc. looked to rival drug maker Novartis AG for its new legal chief in Shannon Thyme Klinger. Novartis, for its part, hired Karen Hale from AbbVie Inc. to be its top lawyer after briefly naming an interim replacement.
AmerisourceBergen Corp. promoted deputy general counsel Elizabeth Campbell to succeed its longtime legal chief John Chou, who helped the company finalize a landmark $26 billion opioid settlement. Boston Scientific, which saw its former top lawyer join McDonald’s, looked in-house for a successor in former chief corporate counsel Vance Brown. The Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. hired former Obama administration lawyer Danielle Gray to succeed its global legal chief, Marco Pagni.
Health care unicorns Maven Clinic Co. and Color Health Inc. also recruited new top lawyers in Erica Pham and Catherine Lacavera, respectively. The latter spent more than 16 years at Google, where she was most recently a vice president of legal.
Media & Entertainment
Disney closed out its legal leadership search just before the end of the year by hiring Gutierrez, Spotify Technology SA’s legal and global affairs chief, to be the media conglomerate’s next general counsel and corporate secretary.
Gutierrez succeeds Disney’s veteran legal leader Alan Braverman. His Spotify duties will be split between the streaming media company’s general counsel Eve Konstan and new public policy and government affairs head Regan Smith.
The House of Mouse also promoted a new compliance chief this year in Alicia Schwarz, who replaced the retired Jack Yellin, while Disney-owned ESPN Inc. named Eleanor DeVane its top lawyer.
Activision Blizzard Inc., an embattled video game giant, hired former Boeing Co. general counsel Grant Dixton to replace its retired longtime legal chief Christopher Walther.
Cisco Systems Inc. hired Microsoft Corp. general counsel Dev Stahlkopf to replace its longtime law department leader Mark Chandler.
Microsoft, in turn, reorganized its legal ranks with deputy general counsel Lisa Tanzi and Hossein Nowbar splitting Stahlkopf’s former role. Another deputy general counsel, Matthew Penarczyk, left to become the top U.S. lawyer at TikTok.
Facebook Inc., rebranded as Meta Platforms Inc., hired its first-ever compliance chief in Henry Moniz, who previously held the same role at ViacomCBS Inc. HP Inc. promoted Harvey Anderson to succeed its ex-legal chief, Kim Rivera, who transitioned into a special advisory role. Salesforce.com Inc. elevated Todd Machtmes to general counsel, succeeding Amy Weaver, who was promoted to CFO.
Cloud communications platform Twilio Inc. hired a successor to its outgoing top lawyer, Karyn Smith, in Impossible Foods Inc. legal chief Dana Wagner. Qualcomm Inc. hired Ann Chaplin from General Motors Co. to replace its retiring legal chief, Donald Rosenberg, who is stepping down at year’s end after 14 years in the top legal chair.
T-Mobile US Inc. hired Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton antitrust partner Mark Nelson to succeed former general counsel David Miller, who has moved into a strategic advisory role ahead of his planned retirement next year. Microchip makers Micron Technology Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc. also named new legal leaders in Robert Beard and Robert Mobassaly, respectively.
Elon Musk might have a strained relationship with lawyers, but he’s frequently hiring them. Musk’s Tesla Inc. tapped former Google lawyer William Berry to be its new legal head after the exit this year of the electric automaker’s acting top lawyer, Alan Prescott. Tesla also hired David Searle to lead its compliance team.
Ford Motor Co. picked up former Latham partner Steven Croley as its general counsel and chief policy officer, while Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd.’s North American arm promoted Jason Erb to its top legal role.
Lyft Inc. named a new general counsel in Lindsay Llewellyn, who will continue to report to the ride-sharing company’s former legal chief Kristin Sverchek in the latter’s new role as president of business affairs. Lime and Bird, a pair of urban mobility upstarts specializing in electric scooters, named new top lawyers this year in Sarah Binder and Lisa Murison, respectively.