LinkedIn hires former Yahoo legal chief as its new general counsel

LinkedIn has hired former Yahoo general counsel Michael Callahan to head the global professional networking site’s legal function.

Callahan will take on the mantle of vice president, general counsel and secretary on 28 July, reporting into the company’s CEO Jeff Weiner. 

The California-based lawyer joins LinkedIn from online real estate agent, where he has served as executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary since January 2013 (16 July 2013). 

Prior to that, Callahan spent nearly 13 years working as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary at Yahoo. He played a key strategic role at the web giant, including helping to navigate a potential hostile takeover bid from Microsoft and ultimately initiate the pair’s 10-year partnership agreement. 

Between 1990 and 1999, he spent two stints at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom – initially as a corporate legal assistant, before becoming an associate in 1995. 

Callahan will take over the reins at LinkedIn from outgoing legal chief Erika Rottenberg, who announced she would be exiting the company in April. Rottenberg has been in the role since becoming the start-up’s first full-time lawyer in 2008. She went on to help to steer the professional networking site through its IPO in 2011. 

Before joining LinkedIn, Rottenberg spent time working as general counsel for SumTotal Systems and Creative Labs. 

She said in a statement that she has “decided to take some time off from the day-to-day work that is required from a general counsel”.