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Intel Taps SoftBank for New Global Government Affairs Chief

Aug. 26, 2021, 8:24 PM

Intel Corp. announced Thursday its hire of veteran lobbyist and attorney Bruce Andrews to lead the company’s global government affairs team.

Andrews, a former Commerce Department deputy secretary during the Obama administration, has spent the past three years in public policy at SoftBank Group Corp. He’ll join Intel as a corporate vice president and chief government affairs officer Sept. 7.

Andrews, once a founding member of former Washington lobbying firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates, will report to the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company’s general counsel Steven Rodgers. Bloomberg Law recently reported that Rodgers is one of the top paid U.S. law department leaders. Andrews’ compensation at Intel was not immediately available.

Intel, a company that once helped create the modern day Silicon Valley, is looking to make up ground in the semiconductor sector that it lost to chipmaking rivals overseas, Bloomberg News reported last month.

The company was unsuccessful earlier this month in overturning a $2 billion patent litigation loss in Texas. Intel has vowed to appeal the verdict.

Andrews declined to discuss his new role at Intel or his departure from SoftBank, a Japanese technology conglomerate that last year saw its longtime legal chief retire.

He said in a statement he looks “forward to leading a global team dedicated to fostering a constructive policy environment for the semiconductor industry.”

Benjamin Spicehandler, a SoftBank spokesman, confirmed to Bloomberg Law that the company’s sole head of government affairs is now Brian Conklin.

Andrews and Conklin were tapped by SoftBank nearly a year ago to lead its government affairs team. Conklin oversaw government relations at the U.S. federal, state, and local level, while Andrews had responsibility for U.S. national security and CFIUS-related matters, as well as interactions with governments abroad.

Intel previously appointed veteran executive Jeffrey Rittener to be chief government affairs officer in late 2019. Rittener, who is not a lawyer, in July took over as the company’s chief trade officer and general manager of its international trade group.

In a message posted Thursday to LinkedIn, Rittener welcomed Andrews to Intel.

“As a seasoned expert in public policy and international government relations, Bruce will help Intel collaborate more effectively with government officials and policymakers as we expand our manufacturing presence and meet global demand,” Rittener wrote about the newest member of Intel’s management team.

New C-Suite Structure

Intel spokeswoman Nancy Sanchez said the company’s government affairs and international trade groups used to be part of one organization. Rittener and Andrews will both now report to Rodgers, Sanchez said. Rodgers, who has worked at Intel since 2000, became the company’s top lawyer in 2014.

The move to hire Andrews also comes a little more than two months after Intel announced it would form a government affairs advisory committee.

Members of that eight-person committee include Janet Napolitano, a former secretary for the Department of Homeland Security; Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr senior international counsel Robert Kimmitt, who has served three different U.S. presidents; and Jon Huntsman Jr., recently hired as vice chair of policy for the Ford Motor Co. after unsuccessfully running last year for governor in Utah.

Andrews, who began his legal career nearly 25 years ago in Washington at what is now Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, spent seven years at Quinn Gillespie before joining Ford himself in 2007 as a vice president of government affairs. For the next two years, Andrews oversaw federal and state government affairs at Ford during a critical time for the U.S. auto industry.

After Ford, Andrews spent almost three years as general counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Commerce Committee before moving to Treasury.

Andrews left public service in early 2017 to become a managing director at Rock Creek Global Advisors LLC, an international economic and trade policy firm. SoftBank hired him in late 2018.

As for Intel, it has made other recent in-house recruits. Taryn Williams, a former of counsel in the litigation practice at Stoel Rives in Portland, Ore., joined the company in May as senior counsel for sales and marketing legal.

Sanchez, Intel’s spokeswoman, also confirmed the company’s addition this month of fellow attorney Shannon Taylor as head of technology and manufacturing affairs.

Taylor joins Intel from the Information Technology Industry Council, a Washington-based trade association that tax records show paid her $281,300 during fiscal 2019. Taylor spent seven years at the ITI, where she was most recently senior counsel for government affairs. She’s now part of Intel’s U.S. government affairs team.

Intel, which under Rodgers’ leadership has taken an active role in legal diversity efforts, has also been an adopter of alternative legal services providers. Michael Haven, a former K&L Gates partner who joined Intel last year as a senior director, associate general counsel, and head of legal operations, took over earlier this year as president of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium.

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 at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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