Around the house: Lowe’s chooses new legal head, Daimler Truck’s US business promotes GC to CLO role

This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at Vallourec, KMD, Dextra Partners and Vision RNG

Juliette Pryor becomes Lowe's legal chief Photo courtesy of Lowe's

DIY giant Lowe’s names new CLO as former legal head retires

US home improvement retail chain Lowe’s Companies has named Juliette Pryor as its new chief legal officer, replacing Bill McCanless who is retiring at the end of next month.

Pryor will join at the start of May from US grocery chain Albertsons, where she was executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. She brings with her more than 30 years of varied in-house and private practice experience. In her new role she will serve as CLO, executive vice president and corporate secretary.

Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s chairman and CEO, said: “Juliette is an incredibly accomplished executive with an outstanding legal background and the breadth and depth of her experience will be a great asset to Lowe’s. Juliette is an exceptional leader with strong legal and business acumen, and I’m excited that she will be part of our executive leadership team.”

Pryor spent just under three years at Albertsons, having joined from Cox Enterprises, where she was senior vice president, GC and corporate secretary. Prior to that, she spent more than 11 years at US Foods, more than seven of them as GC and chief compliance officer. She also spent almost three years as counsel at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in Washington DC. Before then she was an advisor to the vice chairman of the US International Trade Commission and she started her career at IBM.

McCanless steps down after eight years as GC, having announced his intention to retire last year.

Ellison said: “Over the years, [McCanless’s] steady guidance and leadership have been invaluable. On behalf of everyone at Lowe's, we extend our sincere appreciation for his service to the company and wish him the best as he embarks on a well-deserved retirement.”

Daimler Truck’s US business promotes GC to legal chief role

US truckmaker Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) has promoted general counsel Nichole Tennyson to a newly established role of chief legal officer.

Tennyson has been with DTNA since July last year following the death of previous GC Brian Burton. In her new role, Tennyson will join the company’s senior leadership team and will be responsible for all legal and compliance matters, as well as corporate audit, external affairs and advising the leadership team on risk and governance.

John O’Leary, president and CEO of DTNA, said: “Nichole Tennyson has proven herself an indispensable member of the Daimler Truck North America leadership team. Additionally, her diverse legal experience, collaborative manner and inclusive style have all been well received across the entire global enterprise.”

Prior to joining DTNA, Tennyson spent four years on the legal innovation team at industrial tech business Fortive. Before that, she spent almost six years at electronics company Tektronix (including a year as interim GC) and almost four years at Erickson (where she also spent a year as interim GC). She started her career in private practice at Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt in Portland.

German carmaker Daimler spun off its truck division in 2021.  

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Vallourec replaces group GC after less than a year

Paris-listed manufacturing company Vallourec has appointed Sarah Dib as its new group general counsel, replacing Nathalie Joannes after less than a year in the job.

Dib joined the company from Linklaters back in January as head of legal affairs, overseeing corporate governance and stock exchange law. She has also been elevated to the company’s executive committee. Vallourec makes tubular parts for the energy market, including components for oil and gas wells and power plants.

Philippe Guillemot, Vallourec chairman and CEO, said: “I am delighted to announce Sarah’s expanded role as the group’s general counsel. Her corporate and stock exchange law expertise and international experience will help accelerate the implementation of the new Vallourec plan.”

The company’s new plan involved splitting the group into three regional operations – North America, South America and the Eastern Hemisphere.

At Linklaters, Dib was a managing associate in Paris, where she worked in its corporate M&A department. She was also previously an associate at Latham & Watkins.

Vallourec didn’t immediately give a reason for the legal team shake up. Joannes joined the company as group GC last July from LEO Pharma. She also previously worked at Roquette, Ipsen, Genzyme, Cardinal Health, Serono and Monsanto.

Denmark’s KMD promotes head of legal counsel to GC

Danish IT services company KMD has promoted Camilla Malene Sommer as its new general counsel after previous head Anne-Lykke Mau announced her departure.

Sommer has been with KMD since 2017, joining from Ramboll Management Consulting as senior legal counsel, before being promoted to head of legal counsel in 2020. In her new role as vice president and GC, Sommer will be responsible for leading the legal department as well as heading up its employee operations department.

Jannich Lund, KMD’s chief financial officer, said: “Our legal competencies at KMD are of great importance to our strategy of international growth and development for the benefit of our many partners. Camilla Sommer brings a wide range of relevant competencies, and therefore I am sure that in her new role she will be a great asset for KMD and our entire organisation.”

Prior to her time at Ramboll, Sommer also worked at Danmarks Radio and DONG Energy.

Sommer said: “We are in a time where the regulatory landscape is becoming more and more complex and where compliance is high on the agenda – also with our customers. It is therefore also quite natural that one of our core tasks is to ensure that we as a company can navigate this complex landscape.”

Mau steps down after more than 13 years at the company. She previously worked in-house at Carlsberg, Coca-Cola Nordic Beverages, H. Lundbeck and Velux. She started her career in private practice at Ole Nielsen & Partnere in 1992.

US private equity firm Dextra Partners hires first GC

New York mid-market private equity firm Dextra Partners has hired Lorne Smith as its new general counsel and chief compliance officer.

Smith joins from Apogem Capital, which was formed last year from the combination of three firms – GoldPoint Partners, PA Capital and Madison Capital Funding. Smith previously worked with Dextra’s founding partners at GoldPoint between 2006 and their departure in 2021. Dextra was launched earlier this year with $2.5bn of investable capital.

In his new role, Smith will be responsible for all legal and compliance matters related to its investments and the firm’s investors, as well as providing strategic support around products and distribution to drive growth.

In a statement, Dextra said: “Not only are we hiring a highly experienced industry leader, but we are also adding a former colleague who has a deep understanding of our differentiated model and approach.”

Smith’s arrival is Dextra’s second senior hire in as many months, following the appointment of Alisa Makhlis as chief financial officer in March from private equity giant Blackstone, where she was a vice president.

Smith said: “I have tremendous respect and a long working relationship with all of the founding partners, so this is truly a perfect fit. I believe Dextra’s experience and already sizeable capital base have the firm poised for success.”

Vision RNG hires energy specialist as GC

US renewable energy startup Vision RNG has named energy lawyer Kirk Vroman as its new general counsel.

Vroman joins from INAP, where he was senior corporate counsel, bringing more than a decade of legal experience in the energy industry. His arrival is part of a double leadership hire, which also included the appointment of Brian Martz as chief operating officer, who joins from US waste disposal business Republic Services.

Bill Johnson, Vision RNG’s CEO, said: “Adding proven leaders like Kirk and Brian to our team continues our focus of building a best in class team of proven professionals as we expand our business.”

Vroman spent just over a year-and-a-half at INAP, having previously worked in a variety of legal roles at upstream oil and gas producers in the US, including with CNX and Titan Energy.

Vision RNG was founded in 2021 as a developer of landfill gas to sustainable renewable natural gas and electric generation projects. The company is backed by investment firm Vision Ridge Partners, which invests in sustainable real assets.

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