Around the house: ABB poaches Holcim’s legal head as latest GC, US firetruck-maker REV Group ends GC hunt

This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at Falcon’s Beyond, S&S Activewear, Amarin and The Oberkotter Foundation

ABB’s incoming GC Mathias Gaertner Photo courtesy of ABB

ABB ends search for new GC with Holcim raid

Swedish-Swiss industrial technology company ABB has named Mathias Gaertner as its next general counsel, replacing interim GC Natalia Shehadeh in the new year.

Gaertner is joining from Swiss construction materials business Holcim, where he was head of legal and compliance. He brings with him solid expertise in managing international M&A transactions, litigations, IP and compliance.

Björn Rosengren, ABB’s CEO, said: “After a thorough selection process we are delighted to appoint a general counsel with extensive experience in decentralised organisations. We look forward to Mathias further strengthening the capabilities of our legal teams and build on our strong culture of integrity.”

Prior to his time at Holcim, Gaertner spent more than a decade at Honeywell across a range of legal roles, mostly recently as GC of its building technologies business. Before he moved in-house, Gaertner spent almost a decade in private practice, just over six of them at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and the rest at Baker McKenzie.

Meantime, Shehadeh will return to her role as chief integrity officer once Gaertner has joined next year. Shehadeh stepped into the interim role in June when previous GC Andrea Antonelli announced his departure from the firm. He had been GC since March last year, stepping into the role after the exit of Maria Varsellona, who left to become Unilever’s chief legal officer.

Zurich-headquartered ABB employs more than 100,000 people worldwide.

Commercial vehicle-maker REV Group hires GC

US ambulance, fire engine and school bus-maker REV Group has appointed Stephen Zamansky as general counsel, replacing interim GC Paul Robinson who has been standing in since April.

Zamansky joins from Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, where he has worked as GC for the past decade. At REV he will be responsible for overseeing its legal, compliance and governance functions, including ethics, ESG and broader sustainability matters. He will also sit on the company’s executive leadership team.

Mark Skonienczny, CEO of REV, said: “Appointing Steve to lead our legal team is an important milestone for REV Group. He has a strong history of transforming businesses and driving results of global public companies."

Before joining Cooper Tire & Rubber, Zamansky spent three years as GC at Essar Minerals Americas. He also had spells at Titan Energy Partners and, as well as running his own legal consulting practice. Prior to his in-house career, he worked in private practice at Day Berry & Howard and Sullivan & Cromwell, having started out as a law clerk in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Meantime, interim GC Robinson will stay on until January to ensure a smooth transition. Robinson stepped in to replace previous GC Stephen Boettinger, who left the company earlier this year.

Newly-listed Falcon’s Beyond appoints GC from Hilton Grand

US experience and entertainment business Falcon’s Beyond has named Bruce Brown as general counsel.

Brown joins from Hilton Grand Vacations, where he was deputy GC and senior vice president. At Falcon’s he will also serve as executive vice president for legal and company secretary, reporting to the company’s president Simon Philips. He brings with him more than two decades of legal, compliance, risk management and government relations expertise.

Philips said: “Bruce’s extensive legal experience, particularly around strategic transactions, is greatly valued and positions him as an incredibly strong asset for Falcon’s Beyond, now a publicly listed company. He joins us at an exciting time, as we look ahead to the ongoing growth of our company, and we are fortunate to have his expert guidance on legal and corporate strategies.”

Prior to his time at Hilton Grand, Brown was GC at Tupperware Brands and associate GC at restaurant operator Darden. He also had spells at World Fuel Services (as senior counsel), NICE Systems (as assistant GC) and American Express (working in contracts management), as well as broader business roles at General Electric and Xerox.

Brown said: “The creativity of this company is impressive and, with so much more to come, I’m thrilled to join the team as it continues its growth journey.”

Falcon’s listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange last month. It operates resorts and theme parks, as well as immersive digital experiences.

Clothing business S&S Activewear hires CLO

US clothing wholesaler S&S Activewear has appointed Alaina Brooks as chief legal officer.

Brooks joins from gas pipeline business EnLink Midstream, where she spent 15 years, most recently as chief legal and administrative officer. She brings with her expertise in legal, compliance, ESG and regulatory matters and has experience with commercial transactions and litigation. Aside from her legal skills, S&S will call on her to bolster its ESG programme and enhance its sustainability and social responsibility credentials.

Frank Myers, S&S CEO, said: “I value the breadth and depth of expertise that Alaina brings to S&S and with her as our chief legal officer, our team, business, vendors and customers will all benefit. We are thrilled to have Alaina and know her expertise and guidance are a welcomed addition to our team.”

Prior to her time at EnLink, Brooks worked in private practice, spending almost six years at Weil Gotshal and Manges and three years at Baker Botts before that.

Brooks said: “I enjoy practising law, and in particular doing it in-house with a company as part of their business team. I’m excited to collaborate with this dynamic team, harnessing our collective expertise to navigate legal complexities and drive innovative strategies for S&S and our continued success and growth.”

Heart-focused drugmaker hires pharma veteran as CLO

US pharmaceutical company Amarin Corporation has hired Jonathan Provoost as chief legal and compliance officer.

Provoost joins from Trist Pharma, where he spent just over four years as general counsel. He brings with him more than 20 years of in-house legal experience in the pharma industry. Provoost will be responsible for the company’s legal and compliance strategy and will play an “integral part” on its leadership team. He starts his role on 15 November.

Patrick Holt, president and CEO of Amarin, said: “Jonathan’s depth of experience with corporate and compliance matters, as well former leadership roles managing intellectual property, complex litigation, business development and transactional matters, will provide the right mix of capabilities to help support Amarin and our future path.”

Before arriving at Tris, Provoost spent four years at Mallinckrodt Phamarceuticals as GC across a number of its business lines. He was also a director at New Direction Biosciences and had associate GC spells at Ikaria and PTC Therapeutics. Prior to that he was lead IP and regulatory counsel at Kos Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Abbott Laboratories, and spent five years as counsel at pharma giant Bristol-Myers Squibb. Before moving into pharma, he was an attorney at Exxon Mobil and started his career in private practice at Lilling & Cohen.

Amarin is seeking to develop advanced treatments and therapies for cardiovascular disease.

Hearing charity appoints new GC

US deaf and hard of hearing children’s charity The Oberkotter Foundation has hired Albert Suh as its general counsel.

Suh joins from from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where he spent just under two years, the bulk of them as GC. He brings more than 15 years of experience across legal, risk management and compliance. At the Oberkotter Foundation, he will help support its new strategic plan to support children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families.

Teresa Caraway, incoming CEO of the Oberkotter Foundation, said: “As a seasoned professional joining the executive team, Albert’s legal and business expertise will contribute significantly to help us achieve the mission of the Oberkotter Foundation.”

Prior to his time at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Suh was associate GC at Globus Medical, deputy GC at Keystone Foods and assistant GC at Aramark. He also spent just under four years in private practice as an associate at Dechert, having started his legal career as law clerk to district court judge Thomas O’Neill.

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