Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Welcome
Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Shopify Names New Legal Leadership, Adds Government Affairs Head

Aug. 12, 2021, 9:31 AM

Shopify Inc. has tapped two veteran in-house lawyers, Erin Zipes and Vivek Narayanadas, to run its legal team, as Canada’s largest company sees its value soar.

Zipes and Narayanadas, vice presidents of legal, take over following the recent departure of chief legal officer Joseph Frasca.

Shopify has also brought on veteran technology industry advocate Maryam Mujica to serve as vice president of global government affairs. The lawyer is a former public policy executive at Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Twitter Inc.

Shopify’s new appointments come after the company saw its market capitalization hit $200 billion in July. Earnings and revenue grew amid increased demand from consumers, even after the end of coronavirus pandemic-related lockdowns.

Shopify spokeswoman Sheryl So confirmed to Bloomberg Law that Zipes and Narayanadas are running legal for the company.

Zipes, who is also Shopify’s corporate secretary, said in an email that she’s responsible for corporate matters and is overseeing the company’s product counsel and commercial team on an interim basis. She worked at Canadian law firms Stikeman Elliott and what is now Gowling WLG before joining Shopify in 2014.

Narayanadas, a former Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher associate and lawyer for advertising technology outfit the Rubicon Project, joined Shopify in 2017. He has been Shopify’s data protection officer, a role that made Narayanadas the rare American lawyer to make the cover of Canadian Lawyer magazine in 2019.

Mujica reports to Narayanadas, who oversees government and regulatory affairs, data privacy, intellectual property, and litigation and disputes, Zipes said. Mujica didn’t respond to a request for comment about her new position.

Shopify hired Mujica from Google, where she spent four years in New York and Washington, advising the company on policy and regulatory affairs for its product marketing team. She also handled Google’s engagement with U.S. government agencies working in emerging markets in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Mujica was also Google’s representative to the Council on Foreign Relations. She joined Google in 2017 after three years at Twitter, where she was head of public policy for Latin America and the social media company’s New York office.

Prior to Twitter, Mujica spent four years in the Obama administration working as a foreign affairs adviser in the White House and at the State Department.

In a recent LinkedIn post, Mujica wrote that she was eager to lead Shopify’s government affairs team at a critical time.

“Economic recovery is top of mind for people everywhere and that’s why there’s never been a more important time to help businesses thrive,” Mujica said. “Entrepreneurship is—and will continue to be—part of the global recovery story.”

As Shopify has expanded, the Ottawa-based company has cracked down on certain items being sold on its platform.

Shopify is fighting the “online sale of counterfeit goods,” according to a lobbying statement filed by Shopify in July with the U.S. Senate. The filing, which lists Mujica’s boss, Narayanadas, as one of its advocates, also states that Shopify is interested in “the reform of laws relating to the protection of intellectual property rights.”

Shopify’s president, Harley Finkelstein, told Bloomberg News last month that the company was paying above market to recruit thousands of engineers needed to run its online platform. Shopify hoped to hire 2,021 engineers this year alone, he said.

“Engineering hiring is probably the biggest limiter to Shopify’s growth,” said Finkelstein, who gave up a legal career to join Shopify more than a decade ago.

The company has also been busy adding legal talent, recruiting at least a half-dozen lawyers for its in-house legal team in the first half of this year.

Shopify hired Gibson Dunn associate Stefanie Chan last month as a legal counsel for financial solutions. Maria Minetti, head of global tax planning at the CBRE Group Inc., joined Shopify in May as senior tax counsel and strategy lead for global tax planning.

In April, Shopify picked up a pair of senior legal counsel for product and commercial in Erin Wiley and Todd Moore from CIBC World Markets Inc. and Discovery Communications Inc., respectively. That same month the company brought on privacy legal counsel Rachel Kattapuram from Dentons.

Matthew McGuire, a former principal deputy solicitor general in Virginia and litigation counsel at Hunton Andrews Kurth in Richmond, Va., joined Shopify in January as a senior legal counsel for global regulatory affairs and enforcement.

The company’s online jobs board shows that Shopify is hiring for several legal roles.

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

To read more articles log in.

Learn more about a Bloomberg Law subscription.