After seven years as general counsel of The New Yorker, Lynn Oberlander sought a new challenge. And in First Look Media, the news organization created by Pierre Omidyar, she certainly has found it. The new organization seeks to expand the current limits of journalism through in-depth reporting, beginning with a website that focuses on the protection of the rights of journalists that have reported on classified documents, such as Edward Snowden. Sounds like a legal challenge to me. “I’m passionate about accountability journalism that is aggressive and transparent, because I believe that the press has an essential role in our democracy,” Oberlander said in a statement. “I look forward to building this enterprise with the rest of the First Look team.”
With multiple companies such as Target and Neiman Marcus facing stolen credit card data — and possibly more on the way — credit card companies are seeing more work in the legal department than ever. At MasterCard, that means a heavy workload for new general counsel Tim Murphy. Murphy will replace the retiring Noah Hanft on April 1. The 46-year-old Murphy has been with Mastercard since 2000, most recently serving as the company’s chief product officer, responsible for leading the management, development and commercialization of MasterCard’s core payment solutions. “Tim’s legal background coupled with his extensive experience leading important portions of our business makes him the ideal candidate to take our company forward,” said Ajay Banga, president and chief executive officer of MasterCard, in a statement.
AtHoc may be in the business of providing crisis solutions software to its customers, but when it comes to a legal crisis within its own business, AtHoc will now be turning to Matthew Gloss. A veteran in Silicon Valley, Gloss takes over the GC role for AtHoc after serving in a similar role with Mellanox Technologies. While at Mellanox, Gloss oversaw the company’s growth from $60 million in assets to a $400 million, publicly traded company. “I’m honored to be a part of this inspiring team,” said Gloss in a statement. “It’s my goal to bolster and protect AtHoc’s intellectual property portfolio to achieve their plans for growth.”
Fortune 500 company Meritor, which manufactures automobile components for military suppliers, trucks, and trailers, will have Sandra Quick leading its legal department as the automotive industry continues its drive for innovation. Along with normal GC duties, Quick will also serve as the co-executive sponsor of Meritor’s Women’s Business Resource Group as the company continues its women empowerment and corporate diversity initiatives. She previously worked as group vice president and general counsel for the electronics and interiors division of Johnson Controls.
Working with government contracts leads to a whole host of legal issues, especially in the case of Healthcare.gov co-contractor CGI Federal. However, Michelle Hertz believes she is up to the challenge of navigating the government’s hoops, accepting a promotion to become CGI’s general counsel. Hertz has worked for CGI Federal since 2010 as previously served as managing counsel, where she led CGI Federal’s contracts department as well as security and compliance program. Before CGI Federal, Hertz spent time with DynCorp International as senior counsel, as well as Michael Baker Corp. and law firm Holland & Knight.
For Jeffrey J. Hessekiel, a job as the general counsel and executive vice president of Exelixis Inc. means a return back to a science-based in-house legal team. Hessekiel comes to the biopharmaceutical company from the law firm Arnold & Porter, where he served as senior counsel primarily within the biopharmaceutical arena. Before that, though, Hessekiel worked 10 years in-house with key legal and compliance roles with Gilead Sciences, Inc., where he eventually served as chief compliance and quality officer. “Jeff’s appointment comes at an important time for Exelixis, as we strive to fully maximize the opportunity for cabozantinib and further develop cabozantinib into a major oncology product,” said Michael M. Morrissey, president and chief executive officer of Exelixis, in a statement.
Medical device company REVA medical is moving forward with navigating the treacherous waters of healthcare compliance with David Eisler as the company’s newest general counsel. Eisler comes to REVA from The Active Network, Inc., where he helped oversee the software company’s growth through a successful initial IPO and later its sale to a private equity firm for $1.05 billion. Before that, Eisler worked for eight years at DLA Piper LLP, where he counseled REVA in its initial public offering on the Australian Securities Exchange. “His broad legal expertise, international work at Active Network, and strong business acumen will be extremely valuable as REVA continues its transition from a pre-revenue development stage company to a commercial business,” said REVA CFO Katrina Thompson in a statement.
It’s an in-house promotion for Julie Bowen as she rises to the general counsel’s office for non-profit organization MITRE. Bowen previously worked as the organization’s associate general counsel since joining the team in 2006. As part of her duties, Bowen oversaw MITRE’s Technology Transfer Office, which has implemented more than 250 technology licenses since 2008. The MITRE Corporation operates research and development centers sponsored by the federal government. “Julie brings the right combination of technical expertise and legal experience to our general counsel’s office,” said Alfred Grasso, MITRE president and CEO, in a statement. “Under her leadership, MITRE will continue as a thought leader and technology innovator.”
Other In-House Moves
After 18 years on the Warner Bros. in-house legal team, Ana De Castro has now been named the company’s deputy general counsel and senior vice president. Previously, De Castro held a number of positions within WB, most recently senior VP of business and legal affairs, WB Consumer Products, since 2007. Before joining WB, she worked as assistant general counsel-marketing at Unilever United States. “Ana has a deep knowledge of the studio, extensive commercial experience, a strong background in intellectual property and licensing, excellent management skills and a first-rate legal mind,” said WB general counsel John Rogovin.
HSBC Holdings, the parent company of HSBC bank, is undergoing a bit of legal restructuring. At the top of the food chain is Chief Legal Officer Stuart Levey, but rather than one general counsel directly under him, the company will have two. Joining Guy Nielson in the role will be Shawn Chen, who comes to HSBC from the law firm Cleary Gottlieb. Chen made partner at Cleary Gottlieb in 2008. While there, Chen served as co-chair of the American Bar Association’s subcommittee on corporate criminal litigation. He now holds a major task on his hands, however, as HSBC is increasing its risk and compliance efforts following governmental investigations.