Following a backdating scandal that left the company founder and former general counsel with criminal convictions, Michael Miller, the new executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Monster Worldwide, relishes the chance to facilitate a company turnaround.
He cites his previous job at Symbol Technologies, where the general counsel also faced indictment, as key experience.
“I’m able to function in high-pressure, high-stakes corporate restructuring,” Miller says from his New York office. “I can see the endgame. There’s a lot of junk to get through, but I can see what happens at the end.”
Miller likes working at a company with major brand name recognition–Monster.com is an online job search giant, and parent company Monster Worldwide also has operations in China and Australia. He is trying to reorganize his 12-lawyer department to resemble that of a global company instead of a startup.
“When I say reorganizing, I don’t mean firing people,” he says. “It’s quite the contrary. It’s getting as many lawyers as I can, but putting people in the right positions, putting the responsibilities with the right lawyers.”
In the slumping economy, Miller faces the same challenges many GCs must deal with, as Monster.com sales slow because clients are cautious about renewing their subscriptions. But he is confident that Monster will continue to stay on the upswing after the backdating problems.
“The management team is extremely ethical,” he says. “The CEO values lawyers. This is a culture that seeks counsel from the legal department at the beginning, not at the end, which makes my job a lot easier.”