Gentherm appoints IP attorney as general counsel

Jun 04, 2019
Wayne Kauffman to succeed Kenneth Phillips, who is stepping down

Northville, Michigan-based Gentherm is promoting Wayne Kauffman to the position of vice president and general counsel, effective July 1, 2019.

The appointment follows the announcement by Kenneth Phillips that he will resign from his position as senior vice president and general counsel at the end of the month. According to Gentherm, Phillips has decided to leave the company for personal reasons. An SEC filing states that he will remain employed as a non-executive officer of the company from July 1 until September 1, 2019 to help with the transition of his duties to his successor.

Kauffman has worked at Gentherm since 2013 and is at present chief intellectual property (IP) counsel and associate general counsel. He has been involved in other legal matters including litigation, commercial agreements and employee agreements.

In his new role, Kauffman will oversee all legal matters for the company including corporate governance, IP, litigation, securities regulation, compliance and data privacy. He will report to president and CEO Phil Eyler and sit on the company’s executive committee.

Kauffman joined Gentherm from Robert Bosch, where he advised on IP development, having begun his legal career with Harness Dickey & Pierce, where he focused on advising clients on securing patent rights. Before that, he worked with General Motors for 17 years.

Gentherm develops thermal management technologies for a variety of heating, cooling and temperature-control applications. In the automotive sector, for example, its products include heated seats, steering wheels and armrests. Its medical products include patient temperature control systems.

‘I am pleased Wayne is stepping up to assume the general counsel role and joining our executive management team,’ Eyler says in a statement. ‘The combination of his 15 years of legal experience in addition to his deep automotive operations and engineering background make Wayne a strategic partner to provide both legal and business counsel to drive Gentherm’s focused growth.

‘Ken served as Gentherm’s general counsel for nearly seven years and has been a vital part of the development and execution of the company’s growth from a start-up, as well as playing a critical role in the recent transformation of the business. I want to personally thank him for his dedication and commitment to Gentherm and wish him well.’

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