9 noteworthy in-house career moves

Charting some of the most recent GC and in-house appointments

Gail Shulman


GC Appointments

United Online holds many valuable Internet properties, including NetZero, Juno and Classmates services. But now, the company holds a new, valuable legal name as well, as technology industry veteran Gail Shulman has joined the company as executive vice president and general counsel. Schulman comes to United from MIPS Technologies, where she worked for 14 years, most recently as general counsel. She has also worked in-house at Axil Computer/Hyundai Electronics.

Tom McCabe

 

Space technology company Orbital Services was looking to blast off with its new general counsel hire, and it believes it has found the fuel it needed in Tom McCabe. McCabe has had his eyes on the skies in a number of jobs prior to joining Orbital, most recently having served as GC of Alion Sciences and Technology Corp. According to the Washington Business Journal, he also has worked in-house for XM Satellite Radio and GRC International, Inc., now AT&T Government Solutions.

Rob Voyles

 

It has been a rapid ascension for Robb Voyles: He joined oilfield services giant Halliburton Co. in early 2013, and already he has been named as Bert Cornelison’s replacement as company GC. Voyles joined Halliburton from the law firm Baker Botts, where he had worked since 1987 and was chair of the firm’s litigation department. Halliburton president and CEO Dave Lesar said in a statement that the company is fortunate to have “an executive of Robb’s caliber to step into (Cornelison's) leadership role.”

Robert K. Biggart

 

Fortune Brands Home and Security, Inc., an Illinois-based home and security products company, hopes it has set the foundation for a structurally sound legal team with the addition of Robert K. Biggart as general counsel, senior vice president and company secretary. Biggart joins Fortune after 29 years of corporate law experience with PepsiCo, where he held a variety of roles including GC of PepsiCo Worldwide Beverages, PepsiCo Americas Beverages and PepsiCo Latin America Food & Beverage. “Bob Biggart brings a wealth of global business and legal experience in a large consumer focused company that aligns well with our business and growth strategies,” said Fortune Brands CEO Christopher Klein in a statement.

Douglas Lankler

 

Lost in the hubbub of Amy Schulman’s immediate resignation as Pfizer GC is an important takeaway: New GC Douglas Lankler will have a tough job on his hands. Based on his company experience, however, Pfizer believes he can handle the pressure. This is Lankler’s first GC job, having spent the entirety of his in-house career with Pfizer. He had served as the company’s Chief Compliance and Risk Officer since 2006, and before that had held various functions within the company’s legal division since 1999. He also has worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York.

Joel Poppen

 

Micron Technology is used to developing products in-house, having innovated with many forms of semiconductor devices for over 30 years. Thus, it makes sense that they have promoted a homegrown lawyer to the head of their legal department as well, with Joel Poppen receiving the nod as the company’s newest GC. Poppen has been with Micron’s legal department since 1995, having served a variety of roles, most recently as deputy GC. He succeeds Rod Lewis, who had been with Micron 22 years himself before retirement.

Eric Reicin

 

After 14 years in senior roles at Sallie Mae, most recently as senior vice president and deputy general counsel, Eric Reicin is ready to test his chops as the head of the legal department at business consulting and technology solutions company MorganFranklin Consulting. According to a MorganFranklin release, Reicin has worked closely with Fortune 500 in-house counsel in the past, and he also serves on the international board of the Association of Associate Counsel. “I believe in the growth opportunities within the litigation/dispute/regulatory resolution consulting arena, and Eric brings the expertise, experience, and relationships that will be critical to building this new practice,” said MorganFranklin CEO C.E. Andrews.

Robert J. Perna

 

Rockwell Collins, a company that specializes in communication and aviation electronic solutions for both commercial and government applications, is looking to take to the skies with the hire of in-house veteran Robert J. Perna as company general counsel and senior vice president. Perna most recently served as GC of AM Castle & Co., and he has also worked on the in-house legal teams at Navistar International, GE Capital Rail Services and CNH Global. “Bob’s global perspective and acquisition experience will be especially beneficial as we actively pursue our long-term global growth strategy,” said Rockwell Collins CEO and President Kelly Ortberg in a press release.

Ellen Richey


Other In-House Moves

After the departure of former GC Josh Floum, who decided to return to private practice, credit card giant Visa, Inc. was without a head of its in-house legal team. But rather than look elsewhere, company CEO Charlie Scharf decided to do some shuffling around in house instead. Ellen Richey will now take over the role of Chief Legal Officer, moving over from her current position of Chief Risk Officer. While Visa looks for a new person to take her old role, Richey will be the head of Visa’s risk and legal divisions simultaneously. “I am pleased that the best candidate for the role of Chief Legal Officer has come from within Visa,” Scharf said in a release. “With her extensive legal experience, proven success at Visa and thorough knowledge of our opportunities and challenges, Ellen is the right leader to help us navigate through an increasingly complex legal world.”

 

For more noteworthy in-house moves, check out 9 more from late December!

Assistant Editor

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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