Ingevity general counsel to retire

Jun 22, 2020
Katherine Pryor Burgeson taking part in company’s early-retirement program

Katherine Pryor Burgeson has opted to retire as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of NYSE-listed Ingevity Corporation. Burgeson is taking part in the company’s early-retirement program, which it announced earlier this month in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Burgeson will continue with the specialty chemicals company during a mutually agreed transition period. Ryan Fisher, Ingevity’s deputy general counsel, chief legal officer (CLO) for its performance chemicals segment and assistant secretary, is expected to be named interim general counsel and secretary when Burgeson leaves, according to Ingevity.

Burgeson joined the company in 2015 and helped with its spin-off from WestRock. Between 2000 and 2015 she was deputy general counsel at MeadWestvaco Corporation (MWV) and joined the legal department at WestRock following the merger of MWV and RockTenn Company in July 2015.

Before joining MWV, Burgeson spent a decade as a partner in the corporate group of law firm Cummings & Lockwood. In that role she advised public companies and private equity firms on transactional and securities issues. Before that, she was an associate at Shearman & Sterling, working on securities and M&A matters.

Fisher joined Ingevity in 2016, before the spin-off, in his role as deputy general counsel, CLO for the performance chemicals unit and assistant secretary. Between 2006 and 2015, he was associate general counsel at MWV, joining the law department of WestRock Company following the merger of MWV and RockTenn.

Before joining MWV, Fisher was an attorney with Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge and was previously an attorney with Cummings & Lockwood.

North Charleston, South Carolina-based Ingevity in early June announced plans to reduce costs in response to reduced demand for some of its products as a result of the pandemic. Those plans include reducing and restructuring headcount through an early-retirement initiative and other employment reductions.

‘The strategic actions we are taking will not only enable us to better weather the difficult times ahead, but will [also] strengthen and bolster our [future] performance,’ Rick Kelson, board chair and interim president and CEO, said in a statement at the time.

Announcing Burgeson’s retirement, Kelson says in a new statement: ‘Kathy has played an integral role in the spin-off and launch of Ingevity. She has exhibited great leadership and commitment to establishing a strong culture of compliance at Ingevity. In addition, she has been critical in leading the defense of our performance materials’ intellectual property. Kathy leaves our legal function amply poised for future success, and we wish her the best in her retirement.’

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