In the Cockpit
There's a new GC piloting the legal department of Spirit AeroSystems Inc. The Wichita-based aerostructures manufacturer has named JON LAMMERS general counsel, SVP, and secretary. He replaces MICHELLE RUSSELL, who was appointed GC of YRC Worldwide Inc. in January 2012.
Lammers may be new to the job, but already, industry jargon like "nacelle" rolls right off his tongue. "That's the casing of equipment around the engines," explains Lammers. Spirit's other core products include fuselages, pylons, and wing components. "We're building pieces for the commercial aircraft that we all fly," says the GC.
Lammers will oversee a team of seven lawyers at Spirit. He anticipates that he'll devote a significant amount of time to managing commercial contracts. "Given the nature of our business, the contracting is extremely important," says Lammers, "both on the supply side and on the customer side." He'll also have primary responsibility for Spirit's litigation, labor and employment, mergers and acquisitions, IP, compliance, and corporate governance.
Most recently, Lammers served as Cargill Incorporated's deputy GC for North America. He spent four of his 15 years with the company in Singapore as Cargill's Asia-Pacific GC.
Compared with Cargill, whose product lines range from raw steel to pharmaceutical ingredients, Spirit's manufacturing is more narrowly focused. But that doesn't mean Lammers's new position will be any simpler. "There may not be as many products," says Lammers, "but the complexity is there in terms of what we do."
Like most other businesses, Spirit is operating under intense pressure to work faster and smarter. The nature of the aerospace industry is cyclical, says Lammers, and that has a direct impact on suppliers. To fulfill commercial aircraft orders with efficiency, he says, the company has to pay attention to passenger travel cycles.
Lammers himself started out at the business end. He pursued a business administration degree at the University of Southern California. The start of his 20-year legal career grew out of legal business courses at USC. After graduating, Lammers took part in a two-year training program at Morgan Stanley in New York before heading to law school at the University of Virginia.
Lammers began his legal career in commercial real estate at Paul Hastings in Los Angeles and later moved to Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly in Minneapolis. He went in-house at Cargill to be closer to his client's business. "I thought, too, that I might one day want to move to the business side." It's a notion, he says, that he still hasn't entirely ruled out.
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Biopharmaceutical company UCB S.A. is hoping to stay in the pink with the help of ANNA RICHO, its new executive vice president and general counsel. Richo comes to the Belgian company with a large dose of experience in health care and biopharmaceutical-related businesses.
Richo succeeds BOB TRAINOR, who retired after serving as UCB's EVP and GC for eight years. She will report to UCB chief executive officer and executive committee chairman Roch Doliveux and will be a member of the company's executive committee.
Richo is widely respected for her extensive knowledge of health care law and business ethics. She joins UCB after nine years at Amgen Inc., where she was senior vice president and chief compliance officer with oversight of the company's global compliance and business ethics program. While at Amgen, she was also responsible for management of the company's corporate litigation and law department operations. In 2009 Richo was recognized by FiercePharma, a website for the pharmaceutical industry, as one of the "Top 15 Women in Pharma."
Prior to moving to Amgen, Richo spent 12 years at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, rising through the ranks to become vice president, legal, for the BioScience business, with worldwide responsibility for all legal services. Before taking on that role, she was Baxter's chief litigation counsel.
Richo was an attorney for The NutraSweet Company before moving to Baxter. She was an associate with the Chicago-based law firm Peterson & Ross before going in-house.