Several senior executives left Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. after the gum manufacturer merged with Mars Inc., and general counsel Howard Malovany was among them.

“I happened to be, now that I look at it, one of the lucky ones,” says Malovany, who began his new job as the vice president, corporate general counsel and secretary of Waterbury, Vt.-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in early February.

Malovany is the fast-growing coffee company’s first general counsel, and he is looking forward to expanding the legal department in the future. As the first GC of Chicago-based Wrigley, Malovany’s department grew from four lawyers when he started to 28 lawyers in eight offices around the world.

“The fit [at Green Mountain] was too remarkable to imagine,” he says. “It has all the qualities of the law department I was looking for.”

Green Mountain, which sells coffee for Newman’s Own in addition to its own brand, acquired Keurig, the makers of “K-Cup” single-serving coffee, in 2006. Green Mountain is environmentally conscious and recently announced plans to build Vermont’s largest solar power array on top of its distribution center.

“The people here are very passionate about the environment and putting money back into the community,” Malovany says. “Five percent of our net income goes every year to charitable organizations.”

In his first few weeks on the job, he is trying to figure out where he can make the biggest impact the fastest.

“There was a lot of pent up demand before I showed up for legal advice and services around the organization,” Malovany says. “So I have to learn to prioritize my time, because there’s just not enough of it to go around.”