VP General Counsel

  • WD-40 Company
  • Nov 23, 2020
Full time Legal

Job Description


Snapshot of What We’re Looking For


As global leader of our legal function, this position participates with senior leadership to ensure our commercial operations are fully supported while concurrently guiding the company through strategic explorations from a legal standpoint.  As General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, this role ensures that every aspect of governance and reporting is not just compliant, but is also an enhancement to our ability to lead, to engage with our stakeholders and to efficiently operate.  As a member of the Global Leadership Council, this role participates in business strategy decisions that influence the company’s direction years into the future.


In this role you will be responsible for ensuring that the company’s legal requirements are satisfied and the company’s risks are mitigated related to governance, intellectual property portfolio management, brand protection and enforcement, SEC and NASDAQ regulations, litigation prevention and response, contracts administration and negotiation.  The purpose of this position is also to act as an effective leader of global programs that involve complex interdependencies of cross-functional engagement and external support service firms to ensure that objectives are met in the most cost-effective manner. 


You will also be responsible for entity formation, due diligence of potential acquisitions and negotiation of terms, board committee relationships and support, development of the legal team, oversight of regional legal functions and collaboration with regional leadership on key matters.  The role also is accountable for overseeing external counsel for both regional and global support requirements.  This role additionally serves as Chief Compliance Officer, leading the Ethics and Compliance Committee.


What You’ll Be Doing

  • Accountable for providing internal legal guidance in all matters requiring it, and obtaining external legal advice or support as appropriate. Manages the selection, evaluation and contractual relationships with external legal service providers.
  • Acts as Corporate Secretary and is responsible for leading the proper conduct of board activities and subsidiary governance, including agenda preparation, meeting minutes, assembly of relevant material for board sessions, ensuring archives are accurate and protected and providing legal input as to matters of governance, shareholder activism and regulatory compliance during and between such sessions. Accountable for proper attention to shareholder proposals under applicable SEC rules.
  • Responsible for coordinating with Finance and Accounting, Investor Relations, HR and other functions to ensure that SEC regulations and NASDAQ listing requirements are met, including quarterly earnings reporting and audit procedures, disclosure controls and procedures, periodic filings, insider trading policies, proxy statement preparation, shareholder meetings and voting, etc. Accountable for the documentation of company compensation and equity plans approved by shareholders and provides support and guidance for the administration of such compensation plans.
  • Accountable for the global program to develop and protect the company’s intellectual property, including trademark and patent prosecution and prevention of IP counterfeiting, infringement and theft. Accountable for management of the global network of legal service firms, investigation firms, and regional company staff towards the objective of eliminating material loss or infringement of IP through enforcement strategies and actions.  Accountable for delivering results within budget limits.
  • Responsible for providing legal function support to the development of competitive claims and accountable for the resolution of disputes involving such claims, including claims made by competitors.
  • Accountable for the approval of artwork, labeling, packaging and branding elements that relate to trademarks, copyrights, patents and competitive claims, through collaboration with regional leaders, R&D, QA and external partners as appropriate.
  • Accountable for oversight of the company’s contracts administration program; assuring an appropriate control environment for the negotiation, review, approval and execution of significant contracts. Acts as an expert advisor in contract negotiations to provide appropriate legal perspective and to prevent the acceptance of undue risk.  Leads the global legal team in support of business contract requirements.
  • Collaborates with regional trading bloc leaders and staff on legal requirements for contracts, local corporate governance, litigation support and engagements with local counsel. Responsible for preparation and updating of subsidiary intercompany agreements in support of tax planning objectives and IP enforcement actions.
  • Leads the company’s litigation prosecution and defense efforts in all areas of the business, coordinating with outside legal firms, experts, internal staff and management. Provides regular reports and statistics as required.
  • Serves as Chief Compliance Officer with responsibility for leadership of Ethics and Compliance Committee and accountability for the company’s compliance programs and related activities, including training and third-party due diligence.
  • Accountable for oversight of the company’s records management and data privacy policies and procedures.
  • Leadership: demonstrate servant leadership in the attainment of corporate, department and personal goals through developing and leading a highly effective team. Live the Company’s stated Values and Code of Conduct that others can emulate. Provide ongoing coaching/training, experiential learning, and talent development plans to optimize performance outcomes, growth, and engagement. Identify and provide necessary resources and information to overcome barriers to success and accomplish goals.  Exhibits a global mindset that incorporates the broadest perspective in dynamic, varied, multi-cultural environments with distinct market conditions. Demonstrates the ability to maintain calm and rational mindset when critical issues or urgent events arise; demonstrates equanimity under pressure and to maintain a balanced approach to problem-solving.


What You’ll Bring to the Role


To be successful in this role, qualified candidates will have significant experience in multi-national public company legal leadership, governance and compliance, in the areas noted for the role.   In the context of our company, the role is expected to be a teacher and a strong individual contributor.  WD-40 Company’s leaders are involved simultaneously in “today” and “tomorrow”.  Every leader produces personal work, in addition to guiding others.  The right candidate will understand and apply the concepts of servant leadership, and will treat stakeholders as valued clients.  A state bar certification to practice in California is required.  An emphasis in corporate and transaction law is essential.  Experience as external counsel is valued, as well as experience serving as an internal legal leader. Additional preferred experience likely necessary to attain the competencies required:

  •  20 plus years of experience in corporate, transaction and intellectual property law, from the perspective of corporate counsel responsibilities.
  • Significant experience acting in the role of corporate secretary, or in support of corporate secretaries.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and efficiently on complex matters, in written, verbal and presentation media.
  • Demonstrated service-orientation towards performance of the role as likely evidenced by 7-10 years of serving in a client-centered service firm as external GC and/or legal advisor to a wide range of organizations, both public and private
  • Demonstrated experience throughout career of not only leading teams, but continuing to provide hands-on support in completing complex tasks, providing guidance, etc.

Our “Why”


At WD-40 Company we believe that purpose-driven, passionate people guided by our values create amazing outcomes.  Our “why” is refreshingly simple - we exist to create positive lasting memories in everything we do. We solve problems. We make things work smoothly. We create opportunities. How we achieve our “why” is by cultivating a tribal culture through learning, teaching and living our values.

Since 1953, our formulation remains a secret. It is no secret that our passion for our people, culture, and brands is what distinguishes us. WD-40 Company has best-in-class products and we seek best-in-class talent.


Why You Should Apply

  •  If you believe in our “why” this is the place for you
  • Over 93% employee engagement as of February 2018 global employee survey
  • Publicly traded company headquartered in San Diego, California since 1953
  • Voted Most Democratic Workplace and certified WorldBlu Freedom Centered Workplace
  • Learning based culture that supports the growth and development of our team members

We’ve Got You Covered


Our competitive and comprehensive benefits package provide you and your family with extensive protection and security, along with quality, life-enhancing programs to include; profit sharing, annual cash incentive reward potential for everyone, tuition reimbursement, 401K matching, short day Fridays and much more!


Do You Align With Our Values?


Please, only consider employment with WD-40 Company if you feel as strongly about our values as we do:  We live, breathe, and play by our values every day.

  • We value doing the right thing.
  • We value creating positive lasting memories in all our relationships.
  • We value making it better than it is today.
  • We value succeeding as a Tribe while excelling as individuals.
  • We value owning it and passionately acting on it.
  • We value sustaining the WD-40 Company economy.

Apply Now

#WD40TribalLife   #PositiveLastingMemories


Thank you for considering WD-40 Company in your career search!