Cambium Networks Brings Stephen McKenna Aboard as GC
International broadband wireless infrastructure company Cambium Networks announced that it has tapped Stephen McKenna, an attorney with years of experience in telecommunications and international operations, as its first general counsel.
McKenna, who most recently worked as outside counsel for Cambium, began his stint as GC July 1. He told CorpCounsel.com that he looks forward to the legal challenges of representing a young company with a global reach.
“Probably the most exciting thing is getting to do work all over the world,” said McKenna, “and when you have a small budget and small legal department you have to find very efficient ways to do business.”
Cambium, formerly part of Motorola, has headquarters in both Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and Ashburton in the U.K., with customers in more than 150 countries.
McKenna explained that doing business safely and efficiently in so many jurisdictions requires creativity and the awareness of local needs.
“You need to make sure that your contracts are okay in all of those different countries, and you need to make sure all your local people feel supported by the home offices,” he said.
To develop a more personal involvement and awareness of company standards overseas, McKenna said that he has traveled to Thailand and Ukraine to conduct training sessions on legal and human resource issues, and will soon head to South America as well. He has also helped Atul Bhatnagar, who became Cambium CEO in February, create a set of core values for the company, which was formed in a spin-off from Motorola in November 2011.
This is not McKenna’s first time as GC for a company with a global reach. He previously worked in-house for Telmar Network Technology, another international telecom company. He said that his time there helped him learn how to work well with outside counsel, a skill he will need to apply as Cambium’s general counsel.
“Today, with the dollar so tight, you have to know how to mange them well,” he said.
Beyond his in-house experience, McKenna has worked at Chicago firm Phelan Pope & John, now dissolved, and with Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson. He said that he enjoys working in-house though, because he can practice in an environment where he has more of a personal stake in a company’s success.
“I like being on a team,” he said. “It’s just a different feel than being outside counsel.”
McKenna received his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.