“I’ve just begun to dip my toes in,” Findlay told CorpCounsel.com last week after he was named. “But my sense is that the company has grown so fast that the sophistication of best legal practices hasn’t kept pace with its growth—especially in managing outside counsel.”
His legal department was also named a 2012 Value Champion by the Association of Corporate Counsel, where the judges praised his handling of outside counsel issues. They cited “significant and measurable savings even as outcomes also are improved.”
At Medtronic, deputy general counsel Neil Ayotte will serve as interim GC while the company begins a search that will include both external and internal candidates. The company is one of the world’s largest medical device makers.
But ADM is no slouch either. With $89 billion in revenue last year, it ranks 27th on the Fortune 100 and is one of the world’s largest food processors.
Findlay says he was happy at Medtronic and wasn’t looking for a change. But the Archer Daniels offer came “out of the blue,” he said. “And when a big Fortune 30 company from my home state [of Illinois] came knocking, I felt I had to seriously consider it.”
Born in Illinois, Findlay graduated from Northwestern, outside Chicago, before attending Oxford University and Harvard Law School.
And before joining Medtronic in 2009, Findlay served as GC of Chicago-based Aon Corporation for six years.