US doughnut giant Krispy Kreme hires former Mars lawyer to head legal team

Atiba Adams will replace Catherine Tang as CLO, who announced her exit earlier this year

Krispy Kreme doughnuts Shutterstock

US doughnut-maker Krispy Kreme has named Atiba Adams as chief legal officer, replacing Catherine Tang, who announced her departure back in March.

Adams joins from eye health business Bausch + Lomb, where he was deputy general counsel. He will take up his new role at Krispy Kreme on 25 June. As CLO, he will be responsible for overseeing all legal matters, reporting directly to CEO and president John Charlesworth.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Krispy Kreme is famous for its glazed doughnuts and has operations in more than 35 countries.

Charlesworth said: “Atiba’s strong, global legal background, public company experience and expertise in the sweet treat industry make him a great addition to the team.”

Adams spent roughly two and a half years at Bausch + Lomb, having previously been GC at Mars Global Petcare and Mars Global Chocolate before that. Earlier in his career he spent more than 14 years at Pfizer, just over 13 of them as assistant GC and just over a year as corporate secretary and chief governance counsel.

He started his legal career as a law clerk in the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, before moving into private practice as an associate at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Adams said: “I am thrilled to join Krispy Kreme, an iconic global brand with tremendous growth opportunity. I look forward to partnering with the global leadership team and contributing to the company’s continued success.”

Tang, meantime, said back in March that she had resigned and entered into an agreement to part ways with Krispy Kreme effective 1 June. She originally joined the doughnut-maker in July 2020 from KFC and Pizza Hut-owner Yum! Brands, where she was associate GC. She was previously CLO at KFC for six years and senior counsel at Pizza Hut for close to seven years. She also held senior counsel roles at Dell and Pepsi, having started out in private practice at Stites & Harbison in 1992.

Earlier in May, US pizza chain Marco’s Pizza promoted former Subway lawyer Kristin Corcoran to CLO, replacing Todd Watson. And in April last year, Starbucks hired veteran GC Brad Lerman out of retirement following a year-long search for a new GC.

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