Ten years ago Frank Fernandez would have had little chance of becoming the GC of a high-profile public company. He just wouldn't have had the right pedigree--he didn't attend a prestigious law school, never worked for a big-name firm and practiced law far from the bright lights of a big city.
Today he's the model GC.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge so far?
A: It was rebuilding the department. All of our litigation was outsourced. We had a third-party administrative organization managing more than 400 law firms. It was bizarre. So the first thing that we did was we said well, we should take ownership of this and so we started to build a litigation department. We had the same issue on the labor and employment front.
Q: Do you consider yourself a do-it-yourselfer?
A: No. I'm a do-it-for-me. When you get to be over 50, you don't climb up on the roof anymore. If I have some free time, I use it in other ways.