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8 noteworthy in-house career moves

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

 

GC Appointments

Ever seen the Aflac duck on television? Of course you have; Aflac Incorporated is the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, and their visibility seems to be everywhere. Taking control of a legal department needed to ensure the company itself can be tough, but Aflac feels Audrey Boone Tillman is up to the challenge. Tillman has been with Aflac since 1996, having previously served as executive vice president of corporate services; senior vice president, director of human resources, and other roles. “Audrey is a respected, trusted and valued member of the Aflac family. Since joining Aflac, she has consistently demonstrated fantastic leadership skills and her personal standards of ethics are beyond reproach,” said Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos about the move.

 Melissa Kennedy

 

Sun Life Financial Inc. is hoping to see sunny skies on the horizon with the appointment of Melissa Kennedy as the company’s general counsel and executive vice president. Effective on June 16,  Kennedy will replace Tom Bogart, who will be retiring after 16 years with the company. Most recently, Kennedy served as the GC of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of the largest institutional investors in Canada. “Melissa has a strong and diverse background with experience in private practice, regulatory and in-house roles at financial institutions,” said Dean Connor, president and chief executive of Sun Life, in a statement to the Financial Post.

Shannon Webber

 

Vancouver-based Alterra Power Corp. specializes in alternative energy, but the company didn’t need to look for alternatives outside the company when selecting its new GC. Shannon Webber has become the company’s newest general counsel, taking over for the retired Robert Legge. Webber previous worked with Alterra as outside counsel with Borden Ladner Gervais, where she focused on securities, finance, M&A and project-related matters for power and mining companies. “We are excited to have Shannon join our team,” John Carson, Alterra’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “She worked with us extensively last year and proved herself as a strong and experienced transactional lawyer.”

Christopher Handman

 

Now that popular mobile app Snapchat has settled privacy claims with the FTC, the company is turning its attention to possible class action lawsuits coming in the settlement’s wake. And those legal efforts will be led by Christopher Handman, recently named the company’s general counsel. Handman comes to Snapchat from Hogan Lovells, where he was a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. While at Hogan Lovells, Handman led the firm’s appellate practice and worked alongside Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts.

 

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Nathaniel Gardiner

 

Research and development-focused biotechnology company Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is now looking to develop its legal department, having named Nathaniel S. Gardiner as general counsel and senior vice president. Gardiner has worked with the company as outside counsel before, and he spent 25 years as a corporate and securities law partner with Palmer & Dodge, which later became Edwards Wildman Palmer following a merger. Since 2008, Gardiner has co-chaired the firm’s Life Sciences Group. “After working with Nat for so many years as our outside counsel, we are thrilled to have him join as a permanent member of senior management,” said Jay R. Luly, Ph.D, company CEO and director, in a statement.

John Ryan

 

Unilife Corporation, a biotechnology company that specializes in differentiated injectable drug delivery systems, has announced that John Ryan will assume the roles of senior vice president, general counsel and secretary within the company. Ryan is no stranger to the in-house world, having served as senior vice president and deputy GC during his eight year stint at Aramark Corporation. Most recently, he served as a partner for Duane Morris.  “John is a dynamic legal professional with nearly two decades of experience in contract negotiation, litigation and corporate compliance. I expect his deep legal expertise, negotiation skills, corporate disclosure and strategic insights will be put to great use at Unilife,” said Unilife chairman and CEO Alan Shortall in a statement.

James Alan Cook

 

On-demand cloud gaming and cloud computing company OnLive has tapped industry veteran James Alan Cook as general counsel and SVP, business & legal affairs, as the company looks to expand its foothold within the cloud computing world. Before OnLive, Cook worked at Gaikai Inc., a cloud technology company that was purchased by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2012. He also served as general counsel of The 3DO Company between 1993 and 2003, as well as for clients (including OnLive) in his own Silicon Valley law practice. “OnLive is poised to create enormous waves in the ways that interactive games and other consumer and commercial software products are delivered to their target audiences,” said Cook in a statement.

Paivi Timonen

 

Fiskars Corporation, headquartered in Finland, has a long history of providing consumer products, most notably scissors, axes and high-quality knives. To keep the nearly 400-year old company sharp, however, will require a strong legal department headed by Päivi Timonen. Timonen will join Fiskars in November 2014 from wireless communications company Elekrobit, where she served as chief legal officer. Timonen has also previously worked for Roschier Oy, one of Finland’s largest law firms. “Päivi Timonen has extensive experience in the legal affairs of a listed company as well as intellectual property management, and operational contract work in an international business environment. This expertise will play an important part in supporting Fiskars growth objectives,” said Kari Kauniskangas, president and CEO of Fiskars, in a statement.

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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