Round Up: Zynga Hires Chief Legal Officer and Other Moves

Oct. 2, 2017, 11:57 AM

Here’s what general counsel had to say the past week:

On the departure of PepsiCo’s former general counsel

“PepsiCo did not engage in any retaliatory conduct and any allegations to the contrary are untrue,” the company said in a statement reported by the Wall Street Journal. The SEC could be investigating former general counsel Maura Smith’s departure as a possible repercussion for the way an investigation into a Russian dairy and juice company Pepsi bought was handled, according to the Journal. PepsiCo said her departure was not related to “any dispute or disagreement... As soon as PepsiCo became aware of the conduct, it fully investigated and remediated the issues, none of which were material to PepsiCo’s financial statements.”

On hurricanes and relief efforts

“Much of America’s drinking water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure, including the more than one million miles of pipes beneath our streets, is nearing the end of its useful life and must be replaced... the recent hurricanes in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico also spotlighted two concerns: the vulnerability of our water systems to natural disasters and a problem that occurs regularly across the country: sewage overflows from overburdened and underfunded waste-water systems that are overwhelmed during major storm events,” wrote James M. Proctor II , general counsel of McWane, Inc., a company that produces pipes and other utilities for drinking water infrastructure, in a testimony submitted to the house transportation and infrastructure committee.

On the Move

• Zynga, the makers of FarmVille, Words With Friends and other popular mobile games appointed Phuong Phillips as chief legal officer last week. Phillips is a former associate general counsel for Tesla. There, she managed the post-acquisition integration of SolarCity Corp. and Grohmann Engineering.

Phillips served as general counsel at SolarCity, a clean energy company before then, according to a Zynga release. There, she advised on matters involving board and corporate governance, SEC reporting and internal policies among other issues. Earlier in her career, she worked as a corporate attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Katherine Brennan will make the jump from business intelligence company S&P Global to professional services giant Marsh & McLennan. She will serve as deputy general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer. Brennan held a similar position at S&P Global and before that was general counsel at Guy Carpenter, a global risk and reinsurance specialist.

Jeffrey L. Cotter was named senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Tennant Company last week. He has experience in corporate governance, litigation and regulatory compliance programs among other specialties according to a company release.

Tennant is a cleaning solutions company and had full year earnings of $46.6 million in 2016. Cotter was recently vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of uniform rental and services maintenance company, G&K Services, Inc.

• Malvern Federal Savings Bank has a new general counsel, Rona E. Korman . She comes to the bank from Center Bancorp Inc. where she served as general counsel and chief risk officer. Korman will bring experience in real estate, privacy and cyber law, partnership and LLC formation among other specializations, according to her LinkedIn. Korman previously served as general counsel for Big M Inc., an East Coast based retailer that owns women’s clothing store Mandee.

Write to the reporter at maxsiegelbaum@gmail.com.

Write to the editor at csullivan@bloomberglaw.com.

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