Appointments: February 2014

New developments at Visa, Kroger and BB&T

1) Linda Genid has been appointed assistant corporate secretary of General American Investors, a self-management investment trust that pursues long-term capital appreciation through investment in companies with above average growth potential. Genid joined the company in 1983 and has filled various administrative and technical positions with increasing responsibilities over the years. Prior to her new appointment she was systems administrator of the company and was responsible for the upkeep, configuration and reliable operation of its computer systems and software.

2) Christine Wheatley, vice president, senior counsel and assistant secretary for US retailer Kroger, was recently named secretary and general counsel. In her new role, she will report directly to Kroger’s CEO.

Wheatley joined Kroger in 2008 as corporate counsel. She became senior counsel in 2011 and vice president in 2012. Before joining Kroger she was engaged in the private practice of law for 11 years, most recently as a partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur in Cincinnati.

Kroger is one of the world’s largest retailers, employing 343,000 associates who serve customers in 2,418 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states. Wheatley also serves as a Kroger representative for the Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program, and as a fellow in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.

3) Visa has announced the appointment of Ellen Richey as executive vice president and chief legal officer. Richey, who currently serves as Visa’s chief risk officer, will take responsibility for the Legal function and will maintain oversight of the firm’s compliance and audit teams. She will continue to report directly to CEO Charlie Scharf.

‘I am energized to be returning to my legal roots and look forward to taking on this new responsibility,’ says Richey. ‘We have a world-class legal organization, and I am excited to lead this area and to continue to help Visa operate with great integrity and success.’

Prior to joining Visa, Richey worked at Washington Mutual as senior vice president of enterprise risk management and executive vice president of cards services. Before that she served as vice chairman of Providian Financial, where she had responsibility for enterprise risk management, legal and regulatory affairs, corporate governance and corporate relations, as well as the compliance and audit functions of the company. Earlier in her career, Richey was a partner in the San Francisco law firm of Farella Braun & Martel, where she specialized in corporate, real estate and financial institution matters.

4) BB&T has named Robert Johnson as a new member of its 12-member executive management team, which sets policy and direction for the corporation. The move is part of a long-term plan to increase the firm’s top leadership group.

‘This addition to our management team continues to position us for the future,’ says chairman and CEO Kelly King. ‘Bob is a proven leader who, along with the rest of our executive management team, will continue to build on our mission of being the best financial institution possible.’

As general counsel, secretary and chief corporate governance officer, Johnson leads the Winston-Salem-based legal department and serves as chief legal adviser to the executive management team and the boards of directors of BB&T Corporation and BB&T Bank.

‘I am humbled to be joining such an admired and established executive team, and I look forward to helping build on the more than 140-year legacy of a solid and respected financial institution,’ Johnson says.

Prior to joining BB&T, Johnson was in private practice in Cleveland, Ohio, providing counsel to financial institutions and their affiliates. His work included all aspects of general corporate and commercial representation for Fortune 500 companies.

5) ValueOptions, a health improvement firm specializing in mental and emotional wellbeing and recovery, has named Daniel Risku as the company’s executive vice president and general counsel. Risku replaces Paul Rosenberg, who has taken on a strategic advisory role for the company’s public sector and health plan divisions. 

Risku joined ValueOptions in 2012 as senior vice president and deputy general counsel; prior to that he served as chief Washington counsel for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. In that role he developed legal strategy and provided counsel on many key federal and state healthcare legislative and regulatory matters.

‘Dan brings a wealth of legal experience in health plans and in the increasingly complex world of federal and state regulatory issues,’ says president and CEO Heyward Donigan. ‘This, coupled with his experience in corporate law and strong leadership skills, makes him the ideal person to serve in this position.’

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