IBM taps Vanguard for next legal chief

Anne Robinson will replace long-time IBM lawyer Michelle Browdy at the start of July

Anne Robinson Photo courtesy of IBM

US tech giant IBM has hired Anne Robinson as chief legal officer, replacing general counsel and legal and regulatory affairs SVP Michelle Browdy, who is stepping down from the role.

Robinson is joining from US investment manager Vanguard, where she is GC and corporate secretary. She will be responsible for all legal, regulatory and compliance matters and other strategic issues. She will take up her new role on 1 July.

Armonk, New York-headquartered IBM (International Business Machines) makes software and IT infrastructure, as well as providing business consulting services.

Arvind Krishna, chairman and CEO, said: “Anne’s extensive experience across law, business, public policy and regulatory affairs makes her an ideal leader to guide our legal team.”

Robinson has been at Vanguard for just under eight years, joining from US bank Citigroup, where she was GC for its global cards business. Prior to that she spent more than a decade as managing counsel at American Express. She also worked at consulting firm Deloitte and was in private practice before that.

She is also a board member of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, which seeks to boost diversity in the legal profession.

Browdy, meantime, steps down after more than nine years as GC, having originally joined in 2006 as worldwide head of litigation. She will remain at IBM as a senior advisor and will work closely with Robinson to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.

Krishna added: “Michelle has had a remarkable tenure, leading our legal, security, corporate governance and compliance activities. She has also played a key role in shaping our approach to environmental and governmental affairs. Michelle has been a key advisor to the rest of the business on issues including M&A, board governance, compliance and cybersecurity. I am particularly grateful for her leadership contributions to IBM but also the broader legal community.”

Prior to joining IBM, Browdy spent 15 years as a trial lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis.

In other recent IT-related in-house moves, US chipmaker AMD hired Ava Hahn as GC from US semiconductor peer Lam Research in January, while in September, software giant Microsoft reshuffled its legal team with Hossein Nowbar promoted to CLO following the departure of previous legal chief Lisa Tanzi.

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