25 May 2018

Around the house

Some controversial changes mark a busy week in America for corporate counsel appointments.

Michigan State University (MSU) has hired a former Michigan Supreme Court chief justice as vice president and general counsel. Robert Young Jr, who was once on President Donald Trump's US Supreme Court shortlist, is an experienced attorney who takes over a legal department rocked by the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal and its aftermath. Mr Nassar is a child sex offender and who was an osteopathic physician at MSU.

After only 16 Months at mobile payments company Square Inc, general counsel Hillary Smith has resigned and will be replaced by company insider Sivan Whiteley, but will remain for a transition period. Ms Whiteley acted as interim co-general counsel before Ms Smith was hired and has held senior roles on Square's legal team since 2013. Ms Smith received an $8 million compensation package when she joined the financial services company in November 2016.

Kate Logan has been appointed by Warner Music Group (WMG) as their new international general counsel. Ms Logan will take charge of WMG's legal affairs around the world, including in North Africa and the Middle East, where the company recently added a new division.

Allison Amadia is joining digital wealth management firm Personal Capital Corp as its first general counsel. Ms Amadia says, ‘My experience helping technology companies grow and stay ahead of the increasingly complex legal and compliance matters as they scale will allow me to add value right from the start.’

Flowserve Corporation, a flow control products and services provider to global infrastructure markets, has announced Lanesha Minnix will join as senior vice president and chief legal officer beginning Monday, June 11. Ms Minnix will join from BMC Stock Holdings Inc, a provider of diversified residential building materials, where she served as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, since 2017. ‘I am extremely pleased to welcome Lanesha to our executive leadership team and look forward to leveraging her leadership and legal experience in many of the industries we serve. I know that her nearly two decades of global legal experience will help drive a continued focus on ethics and integrity, as well as serve to support our ongoing Flowserve 2.0 transformation efforts,’ said Scott Rowe, Flowserve president and chief executive officer.

Extended Stay America has announced that Christopher N. Dekle has been appointed to serve as the next general Counsel and corporate secretary, effective from June 1. Mr Dekle, 46, joined the company in 2005 and has since served as corporate counsel, assistant general counsel, general counsel and vice president, and most recently as deputy general counsel, vice president and assistant secretary. From 2003 to 2005 he was general counsel for Employers Life Insurance Corporation. Dekle succeeds John R. Dent, who will return to private practice in the Washington D.C. area. Jonathan Halkyard, president and CEO of ESA said: "Few if any persons have the depth of institutional knowledge about Extended Stay America that Christopher Dekle has amassed over the past thirteen years, and no one is more qualified to take the helm as the Company's chief legal officer.  With Christopher's appointment, we continue to fill our executive ranks with exceptionally talented individuals with deep understanding of our core business, serving the extended stay guest."

JetBlue general counsel James Hnat has retired, flying off into the sunset with a $1.2 million package. A longtime general counsel, Mr Hnat’s retirement is effective June 30. Also retiring, after 38 Years at Dow, is general Charles Kalil. The associate general counsel Amy Wilson will step in as general counsel-elect after Kalil's exit later this year. Mr Kalil has spent more than a decade as general counsel of the multibillion-dollar company.