Around the house: Airbnb names ex-President Biden chief of staff as CLO, Reader’s Digest-owner replaces long-time GC

This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at Edward Jones, Pipedrive, ESM and UPMC

Airbnb has named Ron Klain as its new chief legal officer rafapress /

Airbnb taps former Biden chief of staff for CLO role

Home rental business Airbnb has appointed President Joe Biden’s former chief of staff Ron Klain as chief legal officer, replacing Rich Baer who announced his retirement last month.

Klain joins from O’Melveny & Myers, where he has spent the past seven months since leaving the White House earlier this year. He will take up the role on 1 January and oversee all legal matters, reporting directly to Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky.

Chesky said: “Ron is both a big-picture strategic thinker and a highly skilled operator, and I’m thrilled he’ll be a close advisor. People have described Ron as one of the smartest people they’ve ever met, but more than his intelligence, he’s known for his excellent judgement and his big heart. Ron is the perfect addition to our team.”

Prior to his time as Biden’s chief of staff, Klain was general counsel and executive vice president of law and policy at tech-focused venture capital firm Revolution. Before that he had another spell as chief of staff to Biden while he was vice president – a role he also performed for Al Gore during President Clinton’s administration. He had an earlier spell as a partner at O’Melveny between 1999 and 2004 following his time in Clinton’s White House.

Klain said: “I was proud to rejoin O’Melveny & Myers earlier this year and work with outstanding colleagues and clients, and I had planned to finish my career there, but the opportunity to work for Brian and join his incredible executive team was impossible to pass up.”

Baer stands down after four years with the company. He joined from Liberty Media, where he was also CLO.

Trusted Media Brands names Jukin GC as new legal head

Reader’s Digest-owner Trusted Media Brands (TMB) has appointed Joseph Moschella as general counsel, replacing long-time GC Mark Sirota.

Moschella was previously GC of Jukin Media, which TMB acquired back in 2021. Moschella helped lead Jukin’s legal and diligence matters during that sale and has continued to head the company’s legal department since then. Jukin is a production and distribution company working with TV broadcasters including Fox and Viacom, as well as TV advertisers. In his expanded role, he will now oversee all legal matters for TMB’s various print and digital media brands, which also include FailArmy, The Pet Collective and WeatherSpy.

Prior to joining Jukin, Moschella was GC at children’s computer tablet-maker Fuhu and senior counsel at Picoco, a holding company managing assets in real estate, tech and corporate investments. He started his legal career in private practice at von Briesen & Roper.

TMB said Moschella has a history of working with high-growth enterprises to maximise value and minimise risk.

Sirota had been GC since 2014, having originally joined the company when it was known as Reader’s Digest Association back in 1991.

Uber’s former deputy GC heads to Edward Jones

US brokerage giant Edward Jones has hired Keir Gumbs as general counsel, replacing Chris Lewis who retired earlier this year.

Gumbs brings with him 24 years of legal experience, most recently at Broadridge Financial, where he was chief legal officer. He was responsible for Broadridge’s legal, compliance and physical security teams, as well as co-leading its regulatory and government affairs activities. At Edward Jones, he will be responsible for managing the legal team and overseeing all legal and compliance matters.

Before joining Broadridge, Gumbs was deputy GC at ride-sharing app Uber. He also spent more than 13 years as a partner at Covington & Burling, having previously worked at the US Securities and Exchange Commission in a variety of legal roles, including as counsel to then SEC commissioner Roel Campos.

Lewis stepped down in March after just over 16 years with the company, becoming GC in 2015. He was previously a special counsel at Duane Morris and an associate at K&L Gates before that.

CRM unicorn appoints general counsel

Estonian business software unicorn Pipedrive has named Phillip Mellet as its general counsel, replacing Robert Im, who left the company in June.

Mellet joins from Healthpilot Technologies, where he spent almost three years as GC. At Pipedrive, Mellet will oversee its legal, governance, compliance and audit functions, as well as provide strategic advice on legal and regulatory matters impacting the company’s business environment, customers and its employees.

Laurence Capone, CFO at Pipedrive, said: “Phil is a valuable addition to our management team whose deep expertise will advance our legal, financial and business goals. His track record of success makes him a perfect leader to continue building on the solid foundations that Pipedrive has established over the years as we continue to scale and innovate for the benefit of small businesses across the world.” 

Prior to joining Healthpilot Technologies, Mellet spent seven years as GC at InstaMed Communications, having started his legal career in private practice at Troutman Pepper.

Mellet said: “My goal is to contribute my expertise to the continued success and further growth of the company.”

Pipedrive is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform and is backed by investors including Vista Equity Partners. It has headquarters in Estonia and New York.

Eurozone rescue fund announces GC replacement

Luxembourg-based intergovernmental financial institution the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) has appointed João Gião as its general counsel, replacing David Eatough who is stepping down from the role.

Gião has been with ESM since 2020 as a senior advisor, having previously worked for the organisation between 2012 and 2016. The role is technically effective from 1 April next year, though he will serve as acting GC from the start of January.

The ESM was set up in 2012 amid the eurozone debt crisis as a permanent rescue fund for countries in the single-currency area that are suffering financial distress.

Pierre Gramegna, ESM managing director, said: “I am very confident that João will be a competent and inspirational general counsel and bring a precious set of skills to the management board. He has made important contributions to the ESM and the EFSF since 2011, and I am sure he will be successful in his new role thanks to his long experience in the ESM and his vast knowledge and high-level competence in financial markets.”

Prior to joining ESM for a second time in 2020, Gião spent almost four years as a board member at Portugal’s securities market commission, CMVM. He first worked for ESM as a senior legal officer for capital markets and regulation. He also spent just over a year at the European Financial Stability Facility as legal officer, the eurozone’s temporary emergency funding vehicle that was set up prior to the creation of the ESM.

Gramegna also thanked Eatough for his “dedication” and “outstanding contribution” to the ESM since joining in 2013.

US hospital operator promotes former Reed Smith partner to CLO

Global healthcare business UPMC has promoted Mark Tamburri to chief legal officer, replacing Tom McGough who is retiring at the end of the year.

Tamburri has been with UPMC for almost 13 years, originally joining as senior associate counsel and vice president for litigation, before being named associate CLO in 2019. In his new role, Tamburri will oversee all legal matters and serve on the executive leadership team.

Leslie Davis, president and CEO of UPMC, said: “I am pleased that Mark will be joining my executive leadership team. He brings tremendous experience and a great passion for our mission and values.”

Prior to joining UPMC, Tamburri spent almost seven years as a partner at Reed Smith and roughly the same amount of time at Jones Day, where he started his career in 1997.

UPMC operates 40 hospitals in the Pennsylvania area and runs healthcare programmes in countries including China, Italy and Ireland.

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