A nearly 25-year veteran of the legal department at a Boston-based manufacturing company is leaving to become the top lawyer at Axalta Coating Systems, a maker of coatings for light and commercial vehicles and industrial and refinish applications.
Brian Berube will assume the role of senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Philadelphia-based Axalta on July 15, according to a company statement announcing his hire. Berube, who joined Boston-based Cabot Corp. in 1994, succeeds Michael Finn, who left Axalta last December to become executive vice president, GC and corporate secretary at Nouryon, according to Finn’s LinkedIn profile.
After graduating from Boston College Law School, Berube clerked for the New Hampshire Supreme Court for a year and had a five-year stint as a corporate associate at Choate, Hall & Stewart before going in-house at Cabot. There, Berube held roles of increasing responsibility, most recently senior vice president and GC since 2003, where he oversaw a law department of 23, according to a 2010 profile of him in Corporate Counsel affiliate The National Law Journal.
In his new role, Berube, who was not immediately available for comment about his move, will oversee all of Axalta’s legal functions. He will be based in Philadelphia, a company spokesman said in an e-mail.
In the statement, Berube said it is a “dynamic time” for both Axalta and the coatings industry.
“I look forward to helping Axalta continue to grow its core business, organically and through [mergers and acquisitions], and evolve its presence around the world, while protecting our IP and advocating for our shared values,” he said.
According to the 2010 profile, Berube has plenty of experience in those areas. He worked on the spinoff of Cabot Microelectronics Corp., and his group devised and enacted the initial public offering in a deal worth $1 billion.
At Axalta, he has big shoes to fill. Finn’s oversight of the 2017 acquisition of The Valspar Corp.’s $420 million North American industrial wood coatings business earned him last year the GC Impact Award from The Legal Intelligencer. In 2016, his team won the paper’s Legal Department of the Year award in the outside counsel management category.