Good Chemistry for New Huntsman Corp. GC
When David Stryker decided to pursue a law degree, after realizing “there weren’t any jobs for English professors in 1978,” he had no expectations that he would ever practice law or even be a good law student. Thirty-five years later, the poet-turned-practitioner is heading up the legal department at Huntsman Corporation, one of the world’s largest chemical manufacturers.
“This is the job I wanted since I came in-house,” says Stryker, who started at Huntsman on June 10 as executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary. As the head of the 110-person Huntsman legal department, Stryker will lead a global team focused on intellectual property, securities, finance, international trade, antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, and employment matters, and will report to CEO Peter Huntsman. The new GC succeeds Jim Moore, who is retiring after 15 years with the company.
Stryker says he is “stoked for this job and the chance to counsel a global entity,” as he ends his tenure at BASF Corporation, where he worked for nine years as the senior legal, compliance, and government affairs officer in North America. He started his in-house career with Siemens Corporation in 1994 as the head of litigation, eventually becoming associate general counsel and chief compliance officer. Stryker says he “grew up at Siemens,” getting his first taste of corporate responsibility there.
Prior to Siemens, Stryker was a litigation partner at the Chicago and New York offices of Kirkland & Ellis, where he started as an associate in 1984. He said he “spent a great deal of time working with senior executives” from the time he was a young lawyer, often being called on to give advice, which sparked an interest in in-house work. “I really found myself being attracted to helping executives manage material risk at the highest level,” he said.
He started his legal career as a judicial clerk for Judge Robert H. Bork at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1983, after graduating from Indiana University with a B.A. in English Literature and a J.D. Stryker cites Bork, who passed away in December of last year, as one of his “greatest mentors.”