Yahoo! hands general counsel role to company veteran

Long-standing Yahoo! lawyer and temporary general counsel Ron Bell has been handed the top legal role on a permanent basis with immediate effect.

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The promotion comes after former general counsel Mike Callahan resigned from the position after nearly 13 years at the company (3 July 2012), leaving Bell, formerly deputy general counsel for products and the Americas at Yahoo!, to fill the role on a temporary basis.

The former Apple lawyer joined the search engine as senior corporate counsel in July 1999. Earlier this year the company announced that it was cutting 14 per cent of its workforce before naming Marissa Mayer as CEO. She joined from Google, where she was vice president of local operations.

Bell will report directly to Mayer and will be responsible for the firm’s global compliance programmes and legal affairs worldwide.

Mayer said in a statement: “Ron Bell’s legal acumen, his outstanding service to the company over the past 13 years, and his leadership within Yahoo!’s legal team make him an excellent choice for general counsel.”

Bell has made his mark on many of the company’s deals and initiatives, including the Microsoft search alliance and the Yahoo! Newspaper Consortium, a confederation of media companies representing more than 200 US newspapers.