01 July 2020

Around the house: GCs arrive at MSG Entertainment and Providence

Our latest in-house appointments round-up also sees tobacco giant Philip Morris International secure a new GC and SVP

By Victoria Basham

Scott Packman and Verona Dorch

Scott Packman and Verona Dorch

Madison Square Garden Entertainment has named industry heavyweight Scott Packman as its new general counsel and executive vice president. He previously had a 14-year career at MGM Holdings/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, including 12 as general counsel and secretary, and most recently served as SEVP, GC, CSO and head of business affairs for independent TV studio and distributor Sonar Entertainment. In his new role, Packman will report to CEO Jim Dolan, who commented: "We are pleased to welcome Scott to MSG Entertainment, where he brings with him decades of outstanding legal experience, particularly in the entertainment industry. His expertise and insights will be an asset as we continue to grow our Company."

Catholic non-profit Providence Health and Services, one of the largest health systems in the US, has announced Verona Dorch as its new executive vice president and chief legal officer. She succeeds Cindy Strauss, who is retiring after 36 years as an attorney at Providence and 31 years as its chief legal officer. Dorch previously served as executive vice president, chief legal officer, head of government affairs and corporate secretary at Peabody Energy. Prior to that, she held various positions during a nine-year tenure at Harsco, including chief legal officer, chief compliance officer and corporate secretary. At Providence she will report to CEO Rod Hochman and serve on the organisation's executive council. Of her new role, Dorch said: "Having worked in multiple sectors, I am motivated to apply my knowledge and skills to the ever-evolving healthcare industry. We live in a global and diverse society and it's important to approach legal and governance matters with an open mind and inclusive point of view. Providence is known for innovation and compassion and I look forward to being part of its lifesaving work." 

American tobacco giant Philip Morris International has found a new GC and SVP in the form of Suzanne Rich Folsom. She joins Philip Morris from Washington DC-based Manatt Phelps & Phillips, where she co-chaired the Investigations, Compliance and Strategic Response group and was a member of the Government & Regulatory and Cyber & Privacy groups. Prior to that, she was GC, chief compliance officer and SVP, government affairs and global public policy at United States Steel Corporation. Philip Morris is listed on the NYSE and has its headquartes in New York, but since 2001 has had its operations centre in Lausanne, Switzerland and it is there Folsom will be based. She will report to CEO Andre Calantzopoulos. A much-awarded lawyer, Folsom has been recognised by the National Law Journal as one of The Top 50 General Counsels and Philip Morris anticipates that in her new role she will act as its "ambassador in the legal and regulatory sectors". This comes at a time the company has announced it intends to transition to smoke-free products. 

Kushner, the real estate company owned by Jared Kushner's family, has named Christopher Smith as its new GC. He replaces Emily Wolf, who left the role in May after four years with the company and is now GC at real estate developer and lending firm BEB Capital. A graduate of NYU School of Law, Smith was most recently GC and MD at New York real estate investment firm East End Capital, where he managed all investment-related legal affairs and served on the company's executive committee. 

California-based fintech company Happy Money has appointed Jason Altieri as its new GC and chief compliance officer. He most recently served as GC, corporate secretary and CCO at Lending Club, where he oversaw the company's $1bn public offering in 2014. Founder and CEO of Happy Money Scott Saunders commented: "Jason's vast legal, regulatory and compliance experience along with his strategic approach and industry understanding is critical as we continue to grow and build a new, happier and more sustainable financial system." 

UK Specialist professional services and tech firm Davies has announced Osborne Clarke partner Jeff Chang as its first GC. The newly created role will give a lead on all legal matters, with a focus on M&A, commerical and the company's growth agenda. Chang, who specialises in M&A transactional services, will report to group chief financial officer Tony Debiase. He said he was "delighted to be joining the Davies family and having worked with them on a number of interesting projects over the last few years it seemed a nutural fit and an exciting opportunity to pursue".

Atlanta-based Georgia Power has announced Sterling Spainhour as its new senior vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer. A graudate of Duke University School of Law and Furqa Business School, Spainhour will oversee corporate compliance, risk management and security and legal services functions. He succeeds Meredith Lackey, who is now executive vice president of external affairs and nuclear development. Spainhour previously served as the senior vice president and GC for partner utility Southern Company Services and will maintain his responsibilities for the corporate, energy regulation and technology functions there. 

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