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Michael Williams, Former EVP, CLO & Secretary of Staples Inc., Joins BarkerGilmore

BarkerGilmore LLC | July 12, 2019


Michael T. Williams, who most recently served as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary of Staples, Inc., has joined BarkerGilmore, a New York-based boutique legal and compliance executive search, advisory, and leadership development firm.  The newest member of a distinguished team of Fortune 500 General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officers, Williams adds his considerable international expertise to the strategic counsel, leadership development, and other services BarkerGilmore advisors provide to legal and compliance departments, CEOs, and boards across the country, including General Counsel recruiting and placement.

In making the announcement, Robert Barker, Managing Partner of BarkerGilmore, said  Williams’s depth of experience adds another dimension to clients seeking to bring out the best in their people and take their organization to the next level.  “Michael is an accomplished C-Suite legal officer who has outstanding experience advising Fortune 500 senior executives and boards of directors in the United States and across the globe on strategic corporate growth.  With his proven business expertise and his success in creating award-winning, high-perfomance, globally integrated legal teams to deliver enhanced solutions and exceptional results, he will be invaluable in helping BarkerGilmore’s clients optimize their organizations and drive revenue.”

In addition to his tenure at Staples, Inc., Williams served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary at Sony Electronics, Inc., responsible for all legal functions for the multi-billion dollar electronics company in the U.S., Central and South America.  He managed 60+ plus professionals in seven departments: Law (including licensing and trademark prosecution), Trade Strategy & Compliance, Information Systems Security, Government Affairs, Community Affairs, Technical Standards Office, and Ethics, Compliance & Personal Information Management. In addition, Williams provided global legal support for three business units (Digital Reader Business, Digital Cinema, and Sony Creative Software) and oversaw regional compliance activities in the Americas.  Prior to that time, he was a partner at the law firms of Heller Ehrman LLP and Andrews & Kurth LLP.

The recipient of numerous national industry awards, Williams and his legal team at Staples received the 2016 NYSE Governance, Risk & Compliance Leadership Award – Best In-house Legal Team for Corporate Governance at a Large Cap Company.  This award was earned by having provided strategic and legal oversight for global transactions and instituting a series of best practices for corporate governance, new director onboarding, activist shareholder campaign management, cybersecurity breaches, and FCPA investigations.

Williams graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law, cum laude, and served as Managing and Research Editor of the San Diego Law Review.  He was the recipient of the  2010 University of San Diego School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, magna cum laude, from Ithaca College.  Williams served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps before attending law school.

BarkerGilmore is  boutique firm recognized by CEOs, boards, and executives as best in class legal and compliance executive search consultants, GC & CCO advisors and leadership coaches. With a network of advisors and recruiters spanning across the United States, BarkerGilmore’s client roster includes leading consumer, energy, financial, healthcare, industrial, and technology companies. For further information visit barkergilmore.com or call 877-571-5047.