Nicole Seligman recently getting named president of Sony Entertainment is not just a major achievement for the lawyer turned corporate leader, who has represented the likes of Bill Clinton and Oliver North. It shows, too, how general counsel (Seligman first came to Sony as GC) can get promoted to higher management levels. Yet, it is also a reminder how many women attorneys have yet to achieve their career goals.
But first to Seligman who later this month, will have three titles at Sony: president of both Sony Corporation of America and Sony Entertainment and senior legal counsel at Sony Group.
In addition, since high school she has an interest in all things Asian, an added plus for her career at Sony, which is based in Japan. Her college dorm-mate, Caroline Kennedy, for whom Seligman was later a bridesmaid, is now the U.S. ambassador to Japan – still another plus.
On a more practical level, the company said in a statement that as she becomes president at Sony Entertainment, Seligman will “directly oversee finance, human resources, legal and corporate communications.” She will also work with Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, on developing “overall strategy and growth opportunities, identify and implement efficiencies within and among the three Sony Entertainment companies, and expand the businesses' combined global footprint and influence,” the statement adds.
BarkerGilmore estimates that 21 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have women GCs. That is an increase of about 17 percent over the past five years, InsideCounselreported, and that number will likely increase over the next five years.
Despite these strides, some want to see faster progress for women in leadership positions with more examples of promotions as with Seligman at Sony.