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GitLab Grabs Chief Legal Officer Ahead of Potential IPO

Jan. 14, 2020, 10:56 PM

GitLab Inc., a software development startup recently valued at $2.75 billion, has hired Robin Schulman as chief legal officer and corporate secretary.

Schulman’s hiring announced Tuesday by San Francisco-based GitLab comes as it prepares for a potential initial public offering later this year. She arrives from Couchbase Inc., a software company based in nearby Santa Clara, Calif., which she joined as senior vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary in early 2018.

“I’m excited to be coming on board at this monumental time for GitLab and look forward to helping lead the charge towards the company’s evolution,” Schulman said in a statement. “One of the things that drew me to GitLab is the fact that we are an all-remote workforce, offering opportunity to efficiently collaborate with colleagues in over 60 countries around the world.”

A GitLab spokeswoman said Schulman was not immediately available to discuss her decision to join the company, which has more than 1,000 employees. Her hiring comes a little more than two months after the departure of Candice Ciresi, Gitlab’s former director of global risk and compliance.

Compliance Chief Change

The Wall Street Journal reported in November that Ciresi resigned Nov. 6 amid an internal debate at the company over how it addressed clients’ data privacy concerns. Ciresi, according to the newspaper, expressed reservations about a new hiring policy that would prohibit Chinese and Russian nationals from being hired by GitLab due to corporate espionage and national security fears.

Ciresi, who is licensed to practice law in Minnesota, could not be reached for comment.

GitLab’s internal data privacy debate arose after the company raised $268 million in a September fundraising round that made it a Silicon Valley unicorn. GitLab has said it hopes to make its stock market debut by November of this year.

In its statement announcing Schulman’s hire, GitLab touted her expertise “running global legal affairs for a number of companies,” noting that such work in “scaling companies, including from private to public, will be vital to GitLab’s continued growth.”

Schulman started her legal career in 2006 as an associate at Fenwick & West, where she spent nearly four years before moving on to in-house jobs at software companies Adobe Inc. and New Relic Inc.

GitLab’s board of directors currently includes Harvard Law School graduate David Hornik, a former associate at Cravath Swaine & Moore, Perkins Coie, and the Venture Law Group who is now a general partner at Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm August Capital.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Seth Stern at