The software firm Autodesk has brought back Ruth Ann Keene, one of its former in-house lawyers, to take over as legal chief for the publicly traded design-software company. Ruth Ann Keene, who described her new top lawyer role as a “homecoming,” had worked at Autodesk’s legal department for more than a decade earlier in her career.
As the San Francisco-based firm’s new top lawyer, Ruth Ann Keene now leads Autodesk’s global legal matters while advising CEO Andrew Anagnost and the board of directors. She’s also overseeing the company’s government affairs and public policy.
Keene succeeds Pascal Di Fronzo, who is retiring after more than 23 years at the company. She previously worked in Autodesk’s legal department from 2005 to 2016 as assistant general counsel and assistant secretary. She oversaw a variety of legal, corporate governance and data privacy and security matters. She also was on a small senior legal leadership team responsible for strategy, financial management, organizational planning and oversight of the legal department.
Keene split with Autodesk in 2016 and joined Unity Technologies, a software company in San Francisco, as legal chief and corporate secretary. Developers use Unity’s software to create interactive, real-time 3D content for video games, among other things. As Unity’s top lawyer, Keene helped steer the firm’s more than $13 billion initial public offering in 2020. She exited the company in January 2022, when she returned to Autodesk.
Earlier in her legal career, Keene practiced technology transactional law at Morrison & Foerster, where she advised clients on IP and commercial law issues.