Yahoo CEO Mayer Promotes Ron Bell to General Counsel
Yahoo! Inc. has ended its search for a new general counsel, naming Ron Bell to head its law department just a month after ex-Google Inc. executive Marissa Mayer took over as chief executive officer.
Bells appointment as the companys general counsel was announced August 13, just over a month into his tenure as interim GC. Bell has been with Yahoos legal team since July 1999, most recently as vice president and deputy general counsel for the Americas region, global products, and law department operations. In a statement, Yahoo noted his contributions to the company in deals including a search alliance with Microsoft and the expansion of The Newspaper Consortium, Yahoos digital ad-serving platform.
I am excited to appoint him in this critical role at Yahoo, said Mayer in a company statement. She praised his service to the company and legal acumen. According to the statement, Bell will report directly to Mayer.
Bells promotion comes on the heels of executive upheaval at the company. Shortly before Mayers highly publicized move into the CEOs office, Michael Barrett came over from Google to be Yahoos chief revenue officer.
Former GC Michael Callahan submitted his resignation in June, after more than 12 years in-house at Yahoo. In his resignation, Callahan wrote that he had nothing but affection for this amazing company and its incredible employees around the world. As part of the transition, Bell was named interim GC; Yahoos interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, who was passed up by Yahoos board of directors for the permanent job, said that Bell has made his mark on many of our most strategic deals and initiatives over the years.
Callahans departure was the latest in a parade of attorneys heading out of the companys legal department. By early 2012, the California legal team had shrunk by nearly 20 percent since January of the previous year, according to CorpCounsel.com sibling publication The Recorder. Several of Yahoos top in-house lawyers have since moved on to tech companies like Facebook, Airbnb, and Evernote.
Before coming to Yahoo, Bell was a senior corporate counsel at Apple Inc. for two years; prior to that, he was an associate at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, specializing in intellectual property, media, and litigation, for almost five years. Bell received his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School in 1992, after completing an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.