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Software Startup Podium Taps Twilio for First Legal Group Leader

May 12, 2022, 9:14 PM

Podium Corp., a privately held software developer catering to small businesses, lured its first-ever general counsel from cloud communications platform Twilio Inc., the company announced Thursday.

The new hire, Mariam Sattar, most recently served as a vice president of corporate legal at Twilio. She is also a former Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati associate who has worked in-house at Australian software company Atlassian Corp. and online real estate marketplace Trulia.com.

“Her leadership experience and extensive understanding of the legal environment will accelerate Podium’s ability to serve many more local businesses,” Podium Chief Executive Officer Eric Rea said in a statement.

Podium, valued at $3 billion in November following a $201 million Series D fundraising round, provides communications and payments technology allowing small businesses to interact with customers online.

The startup is based in Lehi, Utah, an area south of Salt Lake City that in recent years has become increasingly popular with startups and the lawyers who serve them.

Sattar didn’t respond to a request for comment about her new in-house role.

The software-as-a-service company said Sattar will report to Rea, who co-founded Podium in 2014 with Dennis Steele in an office above a bike shop in Provo, Utah.

Podium already employs at least three lawyers: senior director and head legal counsel Brandon Boulter and in-house counsel Christopher Wallace Jr. and David Glauser, according to records on file with the Utah State Bar.

Twilio

Twilio in December hired a new chief legal officer in Dana Wagner, the former top lawyer at Impossible Foods Inc., a privately held maker of meat substitutes.

Wagner succeeded former Twilio general counsel Karyn Smith, who joined the company in 2014 and oversaw the expansion of its legal group from one lawyer to more than 140.

Twilio, in a proxy statement filed earlier this month, didn’t list Smith as one of its seven highest-paid executives last year. Wagner received a one-time signing bonus of $250,000 after being hired as Twilio’s new top lawyer as of Dec. 13, per the filing.

Wagner currently owns nearly $8.3 million in company stock, while Smith’s remaining Twilio shares are valued at more than $3 million, according to Bloomberg data.

In February, Smith was named legal chief for Snyk Ltd., a venture capital-backed cybersecurity platform that saw its valuation increase sharply over the last year. Bloomberg News reported in December that Snyk, most recently valued at $8.6 billion, was preparing for an initial public offering by mid-2022.

Twilio last month appointed Amy Holcroft to be its first chief privacy officer.

Holcroft is a British lawyer who most recently served as privacy chief and vice president for privacy and information governance at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.

She joined Twilio a month after federal prosecutors charged three former software engineers at the San Francisco-based company with using customer information in an insider trading scheme that generated $1 million in illicit profits.

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

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