D.C. Lawyer To Be Facebook's General Counsel
Facebook has hired Ted Ullyot, a Washington-based partner for the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, to be its general counsel. He will relocate to the Bay area next month.
I managed to have a 10-minute conversation with Ted late this afternoon. He said his objective is to build Facebook's legal team, which now has about 10 members, in order to handle a full range of legal issues.
The biggest legal issues facing Facebook? Ullyot listed employment questions, contracts with business partners, privacy issues and intellectual property questions as primary areas to tackle. The company's fast international growth also poses some legal challenges.
Facebook "is generally operating in a rapidly changing environment where legal questions are still being worked out," he said.
Ullyot was general counsel at AOL Time Warner Europe from 2000 to early 2003, and held several federal positions between 2003 and 2005, including chief of staff to U.S. Attorney Alberto Gonzales.
What's his first priority? "Get in and get to work," he said. "Regardless of what your own background is, every company is unique and has its own unique set of challenges and issues."
Ullyot is not the only Facebook employee with Washington roots. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was chief of staff to Bill Clinton's Department of the Treasury.
He said he won't be spending a whole lot of time in Washington.
Could Facebook's new hire, and his role in building a more robust legal team, be a sign that the company is bracing for some rough legal waters ahead?
September 29, 2008; 6:52 PM ET
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