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Arrow Electronics, Carbon Name New Law Department Leaders

Dec. 17, 2020, 10:02 AM

Arrow Electronics Inc., a distributor of electronic components and computer products, promoted Carine Jean-Claude to be interim chief legal officer.

Jean-Claude, who had been chief compliance officer and vice president of legal affairs for Centennial, Colo.-based Arrow, succeeds Lily Yan Hughes.

Disclosure of the promotion in a Dec. 15 securities filing comes after Bloomberg News reported last month that the U.S. government was probing an Asian subsidiary of Arrow over alleged ties to the Chinese military.

On Nov. 30, Arrow retained government relations firm Whitaker Strategies to lobby on “issues relating to export control,” according to U.S. Senate filings.

Arrow, a U.S. government contractor, has acknowledged it’s aware of a draft rule by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security designating Arrow Asia Pac Ltd. as a “military end user,” which would trigger export restrictions on the company.

Arrow spokesman John Hourigan said the company’s recent “legal leadership change is not related to the draft rule that lists Arrow Asia Pac Ltd. as a military end user.”

Jean-Claude, who has spent two decades in-house at Arrow, referred a request for comment to the company.

Hughes, who was born and raised in Hong Kong, didn’t respond to a request for comment. She was hired by Arrow last year from Public Storage Inc., where she spent over four years as legal chief for the Glendale, Calif.-based real estate investment trust.

Prior to that, Hughes spent nearly 18 years at Ingram Micro Inc., an information technology company owned by China’s HNA Group Co. Ltd. Ingram Micro was sold for $7.2 billion this month to private equity firm Platinum Equity LLC.

Arrow disclosed in a 2019 proxy statement that Hughes received more than $2.6 million in total compensation that year, including roughly $400,000 in cash. She currently owns more than $2.2 million in Arrow stock, according to Bloomberg data.

Hughes is at least the second Arrow in-house lawyer to leave in four months.

Martin Hillery, who spent two decades in-house at Arrow, most recently as a vice president of legal affairs, corporate officer, and assistant secretary, left in September to become general counsel at maintenance company Collins Building Services Inc.

He didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Arrow announced Dec. 15 the retirement of Andrew King, president of its global components business. King will leave the company Dec. 31.

Carbon’s Hire

The recent U.S. election has brought about another legal leadership change at Carbon Inc., an upstart printing technology company founded in 2013 that was valued at $2.4 billion last year after a $260 million fundraising.

Carbon announced Nov. 18 its addition of general counsel Anirma Gupta, a former deputy general counsel and director of intellectual property at Intuit Inc.

Gupta is a co-founder of ChIPs, a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit that promotes women in the technology sector. She spent the past four years as legal chief for Tanium Inc., a Piedmont, Calif.-based cybersecurity startup that’s elevated former Assistant General Counsel Ellen McDonald to its top legal role.

Carbon’s hire of Gupta filled a vacancy created by the departure of former General Counsel Margaret “Meg” Nibbi, who in September joined the campaign of President-elect Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as an election adviser in Florida.

Nibbi acknowledged her new role in an email to Bloomberg Law—the Sunshine State avoided a replay of the contested 2000 U.S. presidential election—but was unavailable to discuss her campaign position further.

After leaving Carbon, Nibbi helped create a voter protection program for the Biden-Harris campaign, in which she worked with staffers, volunteers, and local election supervisors to respond and resolve legal issues, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Nibbi’s LinkedIn page said she worked to “identify, recruit, and manage poll watchers, poll observers, canvassing board observers, and individuals” for ballot curing during the early voting period and election day, while also supporting the Democratic Party’s “Get Out the Vote” initiative.

Kristalle Cooks, a spokeswoman for Redwood City, Calif.-based Carbon, said she didn’t have any information about Nibbi’s post-Carbon plans.

Musical Chairs

Carbon, headed by retired DuPont de Nemours Inc. CEO Ellen Kullman, hired Nibbi as outside legal counsel in 2015.

Nibbi went in-house in 2018 and was promoted to general counsel at Carbon the following year after former legal chief Joshua Green moved into corporate development and strategy.

Carbon’s hire of Gupta to succeed Nibbi coincided with the departure this month of its director of legal, Anna Lee, who has become general counsel for Fremont, Calif.-based digital printing rival Electronics for Imaging Inc.

Lee confirmed to Bloomberg Law that she’s replaced Whitney Clark as legal chief at EFI, which was sold last year to Siris Capital Group LLC in a $1.7 billion all-cash deal.

A former litigator at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Lee previously spent a half-dozen years in-house at EFI, which she has now returned to after leaving that company in late 2019 to join Carbon.

EFI hired a new CEO last year in Jeffrey Jacobson, an attorney and former CEO at Xerox Holdings Corp. who has over three decades of experience in the fast-changing printing and copying industry. Xerox ousted Jacobson in 2018 ahead of the company’s ultimately unsuccessful $6.1 billion sale to Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com
John Hughes in Washington at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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