Tesla’s legal team received a boost last month, with the company hiring Derek Windham, a top securities lawyer, as its senior director and deputy general counsel for corporate and securities. Prior to his employment at Tesla, Windham had worked at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HP) for seven years.
As per Windham’s LinkedIn page, he joined the Texas-based electric vehicle maker last month. He would be reporting to the head of Tesla’s in-house legal team, who, in turn, reports directly to CEO Elon Musk.
During his tenure at Hewlett Packard, Windham served as a corporate, securities, governance, and finance lawyer. He became a proponent of using technological solutions to improve corporate governance, according to a Bloomberg Law report.
While Windham’s employment at Tesla has been confirmed on LinkedIn, neither the lawyer nor Allison Arebalo, Tesla’s director of human resources, has issued a statement about the matter. HP, however, confirmed Windham’s departure from the company.
Tesla has been shuffling and bolstering its legal ranks as of late, especially amidst CEO Elon Musk’s efforts to build a “hardcore litigation department” in the company. Back in May, Musk noted on Twitter that he would be assembling a team comprised of “hardcore streetfighters” that would initiate and execute lawsuits. The team would be reporting directly to him.
In his initial announcement, Musk hinted that Tesla’s legal team would not hesitate to bite back if the company is wronged. In a later comment, Musk mentioned that he was “out for blood.”
Not long after, Tesla hired Michael Munro as its new Associate General Counsel, Global Compliance. Munro is a longtime oil and gas industry lawyer and former partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. James Wu also joined in May as the company’s managing counsel for employment class action litigation. Wu previously worked as the chair of Quarles & Brady’s California labor and employment practice, according to Bloomberg Law.
Musk noted last month that Tesla’s “hardcore” litigation team was well on its way toward being formed. “A lot of really talented lawyers have sort of sent in their resume, and we’re actually going through that. We’re going to be hiring a bunch of people who responded to my tweet,” Musk noted during his appearance on the Getting Stoned podcast.
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