Who Has Been Hired to Lead Legal at Fortune 500 Companies in 2018?

New data from consultancy Russell Reynolds Associates shows significant turnover in the first quarter of this year. It also indicates that more women than usual have been hired to lead legal departments in the early months of 2018

Corporate Counsel | May 18, 2018

The Corporate Counsel article, “Who Has Been Hired to Lead Legal at Fortune 500 Companies in 2018?," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Cynthia Dow about significant turnover among general counsel leading to an increase in diversity hires. The article is excerpted below.

Among the Fortune 500 companies, turnover among general counsel has been significant so far this year, according to a new analysis from consultancy Russell Reynolds Associates.

In the first quarter of 2018, 13 Fortune 500 companies hired new GCs. Five of the hires were female, and three were people of color.

“The sample size is really small, but it’s interesting the pace of female appointments continues to be really substantial,” Cynthia Dow, who leads the legal officers practice at Russell, told Corporate Counsel.

Dow noted that only 26 percent of GCs in the entire Fortune 500 are female but that in the first quarter of this year, about 38.5 percent of the appointments were female.


GC moves have happened lately across a wide variety industries, according to the Russell Reynolds research.

As for whether the first quarter’s findings are an indicator of what it is to come for the months ahead, Dow said, “To me, it feels like this year will end up being a year of quite high change and turnover.”

To read the full article, click here.

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Who Has Been Hired to Lead Legal at Fortune 500 Companies in 2018?