The Vevey, Switzerland food colossus Nestlé has hired a new general counsel, Leanne Geale, who will have the titles executive vice president and general counsel. Geale, who starts August 1, will sit on the executive board and will oversee the company’s legal and compliance functions.
Nestlé’a head of governance and compliance David Frick, and Ricardo Cortes-Monroy, chief legal officer, will report to Geale. That’s the reverse of what typical happens in U.S. companies that have both a general counsel and chief legal officer. As part of the shuffle, Frick will leave the executive board but will continue to serve in his present role, including as board secretary.
Mark Schneider, Group CEO, said: “Leanne has extensive legal, compliance and corporate governance experience in industry-leading global companies. She is perfectly qualified to lead the newly combined Legal and Compliance group and to drive a coordinated strategy and greater synergies between these two important functions. Leanne can build on the solid foundations that our existing legal and compliance teams have established over the past years.”
Geale has years of in-house legal experience, most recently at Royal Dutch Shell plc where she currently serves as chief compliance officer. She joined Shell in 2003 and has held various senior legal roles. Before working at Shell, Geale was senior counsel at the Royal Bank of Canada and as a lawyer for Rio Algom Ltd and Alcan Aluminum Ltd.