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Zoom Looking for General Counsel After Legal Chief’s Promotion (2)

June 4, 2020, 7:15 PM; Updated: June 4, 2020, 10:44 PM

The top in-house lawyer at Zoom Video Communications Inc. is moving up in the C-suite as the video teleconferencing platform enjoys increasing popularity and profits amid the coronavirus crisis.

Zoom disclosed in a June 4 securities filing that its board of directors approved May 29 the promotion of chief legal officer Aparna Bawa to chief operating officer. Bawa told Bloomberg Law in an email that she is looking forward to the new role, which is a new one at the San Jose, Calif.-based company.

A Zoom spokeswoman said that Bawa will be the company’s first COO and will no long have the chief legal officer title going forward, although legal functions will remain under her purview.

“Aparna Bawa is a talented leader who has provided significant value across all areas of our business since she joined Zoom in 2018,” the company said in a statement. “We have begun the search for a new general counsel, who will report to Aparna.”

Bawa currently owns Zoom stock valued at $43.05 million, according to Bloomberg data. A proxy statement filed by Zoom last month shows that Bawa was not one of the company’s highest-paid executives during its 2020 fiscal year, although she received $2.74 million in total compensation during 2019, according to securities filings. Most of that pay package was stock, with only $134,166 in cash.

Securities filings show that Cooley incurred $1.5 million in legal fees and expenses in advising Zoom on an initial public offering that raised $751 million in April 2019. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the law firm where Bawa, a Harvard Law School graduate, started her legal career in 2002, represented underwriters on the listing.

Bawa joined Zoom as general counsel in September 2018 and was promoted to chief legal officer in August 2019. Prior to joining Zoom, Bawa served as in-house legal chief at e-commerce platform Magento Inc., which was acquired in 2018 by Adobe Inc., and Nimble Storage Inc., an enterprise flash storage company sold in 2017 to Hewlett Packard Enterprise Inc.

Privacy Concerns

Zoom announced Wednesday that its first quarter earnings had doubled from the previous year, thanks in part due to increased demand for its services as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite such growth, privacy and security concerns have plagued Zoom in recent months. In late March, Zoom was sued by a user for allegedly sharing their personal information with third parties.

In a March 29 blog post on the company’s website, Bawa wrote that Zoom doesn’t sell user data, has not done so in the past, and has no plans to do so going forward. “Zoom does not monitor your meetings or its contents,” Bawa wrote.

Zoom has been busy in recent weeks bulking up its in-house legal and compliance staff, the latter of which is led by chief compliance and ethics officer and deputy general counsel Lynn Haaland, who the company in January after serving as compliance chief at PepsiCo Inc.

This month the company recruited associate general counsel for privacy Virginia Lee from Cengage Learning Inc., where she was senior privacy counsel, and brought on Elasticsearch BV senior corporate and privacy counsel Glory Francke as an in-house privacy lawyer.

In May, Zoom hired a new head of global public policy and government relations in Jonathan “Josh” Kallmer, who most recently served as executive vice president for policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, a Washington-based trade association that paid him $348,828 in 2017-18, according to federal tax filings.

In the past month, Zoom also added Exxon Mobil Corp. senior counsel Josh Parecki as senior corporate counsel, Keybase head of operations and legal Karen Maxim as senior legal counsel, and eBay Inc. director and commercial counsel Vicki Ting as senior commercial counsel.

Other in-house additions include Cooley associate Nathaniel Cooper, who joined Zoom as an associate general counsel for litigation in April, as well as Theodore Gizewski, a former vice president of product legal at Salesforce.com Inc. who joined Zoom as deputy general counsel for products earlier this year.

Bawa told Bloomberg Law in an email that she looks forward to working with the “excellent additions” to Zoom’s in-house team.

(Adds comments from Bawa in second and 16th paragraphs.)

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Seth Stern at sstern@bloomberglaw.com

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