Around the house: Mondee snaps up former Apple counsel, Cherry hires experienced German tech GC

This week’s roundup of top in-house moves also includes appointments at Pax8, Precision Medicine Group, Madison International Realty and Fortera

Meredith Waters becomes Mondee's first GC Photo courtesy of Mondee

Travel tech company Mondee names former Apple counsel as GC

US-listed travel tech business Mondee has hired former Apple counsel Meredith Waters as its first general counsel.

Waters joins the Austin-based company after four years as senior legal counsel at the iPhone-maker, bringing with her more than 15 years of legal experience spanning both in-house and private practice work. At Mondee, she will be responsible for all legal matters and will oversee the entire legal department. 

Prasad Gundumogula, chairman, founder and CEO of Mondee, said: “We are thrilled to have Ms. Waters join Mondee as our first general counsel. Her experience and knowledge will be invaluable in helping us navigate the complex legal landscape of the travel industry and supporting our continued growth.”

Prior to her time at Apple, Waters spent three years as legal counsel at prepaid card provider Netspend, having previously worked in private practice as an associate at both Kirkland & Ellis and Linklaters.

Waters said: “As Mondee’s general counsel, I look forward to working alongside Prasad and the rest of the team to continue building on Mondee’s success and expanding our reach in the rapidly evolving travel industry.”

She added: “With Mondee’s strong global content hub and technology-driven marketplace, I am excited to help guide Mondee’s legal and business operations to ensure that we stay at the forefront of this rapidly evolving market.”

Mondee was founded in 2011 and listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange last July. It provides technology that connects travel suppliers with travel agents and other businesses that sell or promote travel-related products and services.

Former CoDon GC to lead Cherry’s new legal department

German tech company Cherry has hired Anna Catharina Wolschner as general counsel to manage its newly created legal department.

Wolschner arrives after a brief spell at AI-railway business Konux, which she joined last year after leaving German biotech company CoDon, where she was also GC. Wolschner will take the helm of the new legal department, where she will apply her expertise in corporate and capital markets law, contract law and M&A. Cherry makes mechanical keyboard switches and other computer equipment such as mice, keyboards and headsets.

Oliver Kaltner, CEO of Cherry, said: “As part of the ongoing international expansion of Cherry with its strong brand profile, a diverse product assortment and multi-channel distribution both in B2B and B2C, we are very pleased to have gained Dr. Anna Catharina Wolschner as general counsel, an experienced manager with broad legal expertise in external legal advice as well as across industries.”

Prior to her time at CoDon, Wolschner worked in private practice, spending five years at Morrison & Foerster in Berlin and three years at Hogan Lovells.

Wolschner said: “My top priority is to provide legal advice and support to senior management and the organisation, ensuring that we navigate the legal landscape with integrity and uphold the highest ethical standards.”

US cloud commerce unicorn Pax8 names new CLO

Softbank-backed US cloud commerce unicorn Pax8 has appointed Carrie Schiff as its first chief legal officer as the company enters its next phase of growth.

Schiff joins from Sage Law Group, which she co-founded in 2011. She brings with her more than three decades of experience, holding senior in-house legal roles at several tech companies, including MWH Global, Flextronics and At Pax8, she will provide strategic direction for the company’s growth and expansion plans, while also ensuring compliance across its global operations and driving the business’s M&A process.

John Street, CEO of Pax8, said: “I have known Carrie since the 1990s and she is an exceptional leader with a wealth of experience and expertise in legal affairs that will be invaluable as we continue to grow and expand our business globally.”

Schiff started her career in private practice at Cooley.

She said: “As someone with a keen interest in promoting economic development and supporting small businesses, I am excited to be part of Pax8’s mission to empower the small business community. Small businesses are integral to our economy, and I am eager to contribute to their growth and success through my role at Pax8.”

Pax8 is a marketplace that enables IT professionals to buy, sell and manage cloud software products.

PMG taps Swiss pharma company Lonza for new GC

Blackstone-backed drug developer Precision Medicine Group (PMG) has named Stacey Hanna as its new general counsel and chief compliance officer.

Hanna brings with her almost two decades of legal experience, joining from Swiss pharma company Lonza, where she was VP and GC for global ethics and compliance, overseeing matters such as trade compliance, antitrust, risk management, government affairs and other issues such as diversity and inclusion. At PMG, she will provide strategic advice to the business as well as oversee all legal and compliance matters. The company also announced it was hiring Tina Durocher-Murphy as chief people officer.

Mark Clein, CEO of PMG, said: “As Precision Medicine Group innovates and evolves, adding senior-level talent like Tina and Stacey contributes significantly to scaling people, process and culture for our next phase of growth. Stacey and Tina are experienced leaders who have proven track records to ensure that our people and processes are well connected to and supported for our growth trajectory.”

Hanna joined Lonza in 2017 when it acquired the company she previously worked for – Capsugel – from private equity firm KKR. She was also previously a corporate associate at Pfizer, having started her career in private practice.

She said: “I’m excited to lead a talented legal and compliance department and to be joining PMG at such an exciting time for the company. PMG is an accomplished organisation, with a strong culture of collaboration and innovation, and I look forward to playing a part in the company’s growth.”

Blackstone acquired PMG in 2020 for around $2.3bn, according to Bloomberg.

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Experienced compliance chief appointed GC at Madison Realty

US real estate-focused private equity firm Madison International Realty has appointed Mark Schein as its general counsel and chief operating officer.

Schein joins from alternative investment firm Värde Partners, where he was chief compliance officer. In the combined role of COO and GC, Schein will focus on growing Madison’s strategic initiatives and developing corporate best practices and processes.

Ronald Dickerman, Madison founder and president, said: “[Schein’s] insights, capability and industry contacts will be invaluable as Madison grows its platform and investment offerings. I believe our firm’s potential for growth is tremendous. Mark’s ability to assist in business optimisation will guide our strategic growth.”

Schein brings with him more than 25 years of compliance experience across the financial industry. Prior to joining Värde, he spent more than 15 years at hedge fund York Capital Management, having previously worked at Schwab Capital Markets, US Trust and as a trial counsel at the New York Stock Exchange.

Low-carbon cement developer Fortera hires GC

US materials developer Fortera has hired cleantech lawyer Dan Cummings as its new general counsel to support the company’s development of low-carbon cement.

Cummings joins from waste-to-fuel business Brightmark, where he was deputy GC, bringing with him more than 25 years of experience in the renewable energy and cleantech sectors. Fortera is seeking to reduce the carbon emissions associated with traditional cement production, which is responsible for 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Cummings will also serve as vice president of intellectual property.

Ryan Gilliam, co-founder and CEO of Fortera, said: “As we forge a pathway to net-zero cement in partnership with manufacturers, builders and government, we are expanding our mission-aligned executive team with deep expertise and professional networks within the green economy like Dan Cummings.”

Prior to his time at Brightmark, Cummings held a number of legal roles at renewable energy startups including Sevana Bioenergy and ZuChem. He also worked on renewables projects at companies including BP, global chemicals company INEOS and POET-DSM.

Cummings said: “What sets Fortera apart from other companies is its ability to scale globally in the near-term, building on more than a decade of innovation and intellectual property development.

“At a time when accelerating climate action is a global priority, Fortera is driving rapid adoption by working directly with the cement industry with existing supply chains, infrastructure, and regulations, to bring an emissions-reducing solution to market this year.”

Send your in-house appointment news to Ben Edwards; [email protected]


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