Swiss smartwatch-maker Garmin names first new GC in more than quarter of a century

Associate GC Josh Maxfield will replace long-time GC Andrew Etkind in July

Smartwatch company Garmin has named Josh Maxfield as its next general counsel, replacing veteran GC Andrew Etkind who is stepping down from the role after more than 25 years.

Maxfield has been at Garmin since 2006, currently serving as associate GC and assistant secretary. He will assume the GC, vice president and assistant secretary role in July. He will be responsible for overseeing IP, litigation, compliance, contract negotiation, M&A and corporate governance matters. He is based in Garmin’s US headquarters in Olathe, Kansas.

Swiss-incorporated Garmin is best known for making smartwatches that are designed for sports activities such as running and cycling. It also makes satellite navigation devices and other electronic gear.

Cliff Pemble, president and CEO of Garmin, said: “I have worked closely with Josh Maxfield for many years on our most important legal and business matters and appreciate him as a strong, yet humble leader, and as a versatile hands-on contributor. I have full confidence in Josh, and I congratulate him on his new role.”

Prior to joining Garmin, Maxfield was a member of the corporate and transactions practice group at Polsinelli in Kansas City.

Etkind, meantime, vacates the role after more than a quarter of a century with the company, having joined in 1998 as the company’s first GC and helping steer its initial public offering in 2000. He will remain on at the company as vice president and secretary.

Pemble added: “Andrew Etkind has been at the forefront of the most consequential business and legal matters that shaped Garmin into the company it is today. On behalf of our leadership team and our board of directors, we are deeply grateful for Andrew’s significant contributions over the years and look forward to his ongoing service.”

In 2022, Etkind helped the company win a patent law suit brought by Logantree, with a Kansas federal court jury finding that Garmin hadn’t infringed any of Logantree’s alleged patents. At the time Etkind said that “unfounded patent lawsuits continue to corrupt the patent system and debase the value of true innovation”.

Prior to joining Garmin, Etkind spent two years as a senior attorney at aluminium manufacturer Alumax and before that GC at software development and consulting company Information Management Resources.

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]