Around the house: Fox Corp names replacement for outgoing legal chief, Campbell’s elevates deputy to GC role

This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at Tegna, Vox Media, Divert and Hipgnosis Song Management

Fox News owner appoints Adam Ciongoli as CLO Primakov /

Fox lines up canned soup giant’s GC as next legal chief

US media giant Fox Corporation has hired Adam Ciongoli as its new chief legal and policy officer, replacing Viet Dinh, who Fox announced was stepping down from the role back in August.

Ciongoli joins from Campbell Soup Company, where he was general counsel and chief sustainability, corporate responsibility and governance officer. At Fox he will be responsible for overseeing all legal, compliance and regulatory matters as well as government affairs. Ciongoli joins on 1 December and will report directly to CEO and executive chair Lachlan Murdoch.

Murdoch said: “Adam’s extensive legal experience across various industries and government will be a tremendous asset to our company.”

Ciongoli spent more than eights years at Campbell’s, joining from Lincoln Financial Group, where he was also GC. Prior to that he spent just over five years as GC at insurance brokerage WTW and almost three years as GC at Time Warner. Ciongoli briefly served as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, having clerked for him at the start of his career while Alito was an appeals court judge on the Third Circuit. 

He also spent just over two years as counsellor to the US Attorney General during John Ashcroft’s tenure and almost two years as chief counsel for the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism and Property Rights. His only stint in private practice was at Kirkland & Ellis, where he spent two-and-a-half years back in the late 90s.

Ciongoli said: “Fox is uniquely positioned to build on the momentum that has been established by its industry leading brands. I look forward to contributing to the company’s continued success.”

Ciongoli joins after Fox earlier this year settled a multi-million-dollar defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for Fox News’s coverage of the 2020 election.

Campbell’s promotes deputy after GC departs for Fox

Soup-maker Campbell Soup Company has promoted Charles Brawley to general counsel, replacing Adam Ciongoli who is joining Fox Corporation (see previous story).

Brawley joined Campbell’s in 2016, quickly becoming deputy general counsel and corporate secretary, helping oversee the company’s legal function, corporate governance, securities law and commercial contracts. As GC, he will also be responsible for government affairs, global security and corporate responsibility and sustainability.

Mark Clouse, Campbell’s CEO, said: “Charlie has played a crucial role in all aspects of Campbell’s strategy and business, working closely with me, the operating committee and our board of directors. I’m pleased that our strong talent pipeline enables us to promote Charlie to step into this critical role and continue to build upon our momentum.”

Prior to joining Campbell’s, Brawley worked with Ciongoli at Lincoln Financial Group for close to 12 years as associate GC. He also had spells as assistant GC at PMA Capital and as counsel at Cigna and UBJ Financial, having started his career in private practice at recently defunct firm Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis.

Campbell’s has been making tinned soup for more than 150 years, but it also owns other food brands including Pepperidge Farms, Pace Foods, Swanson and Prego.

Local TV network Tegna appoints CLO after five-month search

US local TV network company Tegna has appointed Lauren Fisher as chief legal officer, replacing Akin Harrison who quit in the summer following the collapse of the company’s sale to Standard General.

Fisher joins from Vox Media, where she was also CLO. At Tegna, she will be responsible for managing the company’s legal department and overseeing all functions, including regulatory, ethics, compliance and litigation, as well as providing broader strategic guidance to support Tegna’s long-term growth.

David Lougee, CEO of Tegna, said: “Lauren is a strong, values-based leader with extensive knowledge of the evolving media landscape. She will champion our commitment to serving the greater good of our communities by supporting our content creation and growth initiatives while ensuring strong governance at all levels of the organisation.”

Before working for Vox, Fisher was part time GC at both SportsBlogs and Clearleap. She had a brief spell with Hulu as vice president for business and legal affairs and also spent seven years at AOL as assistant GC. Her earlier career in private practice included stints at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Hoyle Morris & Kerr.

She said: “I am impressed by Tegna’s trusted local news brands and position within the broadcast industry. I am looking forward to supporting Tegna’s award-winning journalism while helping to foster continued growth across its businesses. My goal is to work with the top-notch Tegna team to enhance value for all stakeholders.”

Former legal head Harrison is now CLO at FGS Global.

Tegna was created when Gannett Company spun out its broadcast business in 2015.

Vox Media promotes deputy after legal head moves to Tegna

US digital media company Vox Media has promoted Brian Leung to general counsel, following the exit of former legal chief Lauren Fisher (see previous story).

Leung has been with Vox since 2014, first joining as senior counsel and working his way up to deputy GC in 2022 before taking on the GC role. He will lead the company’s legal and business affairs team, overseeing areas such as intellectual property, privacy, advertising and commercial contracts, M&A and US first amendment issues.

Jim Bankoff, Vox’s co-founder, chair and CEO, said: “Brian has been a key advisor to me and many others at Vox Media, who rely on his strategic thinking, sound judgement and deep knowledge of the media industry. He is also an empathetic leader who manages our risks and opportunities with a deep understanding of and care for our business and our people.”

Prior to arriving at Vox, Leung spent just under three years as an attorney at Arent Fox, having started his career as an associate at legacy firm Dewey & LeBoeuf.

Vox Media owns editorial brands including Vox, The Verge, New York Magazine and Eater.

Food waste-to-energy tech company appoints GC

US impact tech company Divert has hired Kathleen Patton as general counsel.

Patton joins from jobs marketplace and social platform Jobcase, where she was also GC. She brings with her more than two decades of experience in public and private tech companies, expertise she will put to use overseeing Divert’s legal department and serving on its executive leadership team.

Divert develops tech to reduce food waste, as well as turn it into renewable energy. The company has plans to develop 30 food waste-to-energy facilities in the US by 2031.

Ryan Begin, CEO and co-founder of Divert, said: “Kathleen brings an impressive background in legal, strategic and corporate governance matters to our executive leadership team, and her passion and experience in scaling companies will be invaluable in this next exciting stage for our company.”

Patton spent just under two years at Jobcase, having previously been GC at CarGurus and Demandware, which was acquired by Salesforce – a deal she helped steer through while at the company. She also had in-house spells at Stream Global Services (as associate GC) and BJ’s Wholesale Club (as senior counsel). Her private practice career spanned appointments at Brown Rudnick, Day Pitney and McDermott Will & Emery.

She said: “In its 16-year history, Divert has emerged as a true leader in the wasted food space and is well-positioned to address the food waste problem at scale through its expansion roadmap and strategic partnerships. In addition, I am equally thrilled to join a mission-based company that is truly dedicated to doing good and having a positive social and environmental impact.”

Music back catalogue buyer Hipgnosis appoints first GC

UK music catalogue investment business Hipgnosis Song Management has appointed Jonathan Baker as general counsel, a newly created role.

Baker arrives from music publisher and record label BMG, where he was GC for the company’s UK business and executive vice president for legal and business affairs UK and international. He will be responsible for overseeing all legal matters related to music catalogue acquisitions as well as legal affairs for the company’s Hipgnosis Songs Fund and Hipgnosis Songs Capital business units.

Merck Mercuriadis, CEO and founder of Hipgnosis Song Management, said: “It is always a priority for me to continually strengthen our executive leadership team to ensure we have the best institutional investment, finance and music capabilities and experience to deliver the next stage of development for Hipgnosis and our funds.”

He added: “Jon’s experience and expertise in global music legal affairs will support our funds while allowing us to prioritise responsible governance and compliance for Hipgnosis.”

Prior to his time at BMG, Baker spent six years as a solicitor at Michael Simkins. 

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