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Dennis Codon is leaving the only company he’s ever known. After working for close to three decades in the legal department at Unocal Corporation, Codon, 54, announced last December that he is leaving the nest. Why depart from the El Segundo, California — based oil and gas exploration company? “I’d started to get restless, that’s all,” Codon reports. “I’d been a lawyer at Unocal for 28 years and been general counsel for the past ten. It was time to move on.” During his lengthy stint as GC, Codon managed the legal work behind the company’s sizable international expansion and the simultaneous phaseout of its refining and chemicals businesses. Under Codon’s watch, the law department added offices in far-flung corners of the world like Vietnam, the Netherlands, and the Philippines. What’s next for the attorney? In mid-January, Codon was still mulling over his options, which, he said, included another GC job at a “large company” and a post within a “large” law firm. At least in the short term, don’t look for big changes within Unocal’s legal department. The company has called upon Charles Strathman and Timothy Thomas, who were the two vice presidents of law under Codon, to lead the department on an interim basis. Both Strathman and Thomas worked alongside Codon for almost 25 years. But the company is looking ahead. “Sometime soon,” Strathman says, the company will launch a broader search for Codon’s permanent replacement. “Dennis was enormously well regarded within the department and the company,” Strathman says. “He’ll be enormously hard to replace.”

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