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The general counsel of BellSouth Corp. has decided that there’s no place for him at the company since its recent acquisition by AT&T Inc. Marc Gary said that he left BellSouth at the end of January because it’s now a regional division instead of a Fortune 500 company. “The nature of the job changes dramatically when you become a subsidiary,” Gary said. “A lot of general-counsel work is no longer done by a regional subsidiary. You’re not advising the board of directors or most of the members of senior management. And you’re no longer focused on some of the most interesting legal issues, such as in the securities area, corporate governance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and executive compensation. All those get consolidated back to the public company itself.” James Ellis, who has been AT&T’s general counsel since 1989 (when it was known as SBC Communications Inc.), will continue to be legal chief of the newly enlarged AT&T. Martin Grambow will become the top lawyer at AT&T Southeast, as BellSouth will now be known. Weighing opportunities Gary, who is 54, says that he’s interested in another GC job at a major company or a return to a big firm. He’s weighing opportunities in Atlanta, as well as in New York, Boston, Chicago and other big cities � including one “quasi-lawyerish” post at a foundation. “It’s one of several ideas I’m considering,” he said. But first, after almost three decades of continuous lawyering, Gary is taking a sabbatical for several months. “I decided it was a good time to take a little time to think about what I want to do and where I want to do it,” he says. When he changed jobs before, Gary says that he would leave one on Friday and start the next on Monday: “I felt a lot of internal pressure to think about what [was] next and get on with it . . . But for this phase in my career, which could be the last one, I want to make sure it’s one I want to make.” Gary joined BellSouth as an associate general counsel in 2000. He was recruited from Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw in Chicago by BellSouth’s then-general counsel, Charles Morgan, who had previously been a partner at the firm.

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