Green Mountain Coffee Roasters announced last week, via its 8-K filing, that its first ever GC will be stepping down.

Howard Malovany, Green Mountain’s chief legal officer and corporate general counsel, started working for the coffee-making company in February 2009 after a long and successful career as the first general counsel of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. in Chicago. According to Green Mountain spokeswoman Suzanne DuLong, Malovany is retiring.

“During his tenure Howard has contributed significantly to the company’s growth and supported a number of strategic acquisitions while building the legal function,” she said in a statement to Marketwatch.

In 2009, Malovany told InsideCounsel that the reason he got the Green Mountain job was because of his experience, as a first-time GC, building a legal department from scratch. “I have support from the other managers, the CEO and the board. Part of the job description was to grow the department,” he said in the article, “Small Successes: 10 GCs prove size doesn’t matter.”

He also offered advice to other GCs who are confronted with the challenge of working in a small legal department.

“Don’t ever be afraid to say ‘I don’t know,’” he said. “Make sure your Rolodex is up to date so you know who to call. You can’t possibly know everything, so you need to know where to go to get what you don’t know. Develop a network of other GCs who you can contact. It usually comes free, other than having an obligation to give it back to them.”

Malovany will leave his post as CLO of Green Mountain in March 2013. Meanwhile, the company is actively seeking a replacement.

Read more InsideCounsel stories about important career updates in the legal profession:

10 noteworthy in-house career moves

M&A partner leaves Cravath in rare move

Percentage of women associates falling

Southwest Airlines GC announces retirement

State Department’s chief lawyer returning to Yale Law

Department of Defense top lawyer stepping down

Former antitrust chief joins Simpson Thacher

PTO director David Kappos will step down in January