February 19, 2015 / 4:58 PM / 3 years ago

GM names LyondellBasell lawyer as chief counsel

The General Motors world headquarters is seen in downtown Detroit, Michigan in this file photo taken on May 31, 2009. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

(Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) on Thursday named Craig Glidden, chief legal officer at chemicals company LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB.N), as general counsel, succeeding Michael Millikin, who is retiring in July.

Glidden, 57, helped steer LyondellBasell out of bankruptcy and through restructuring. Like GM, the chemical, plastics and oil refining company went into bankruptcy in 2009. LyondellBasell emerged from bankruptcy in 2010.

Glidden has been LyondellBasell’s top lawyer since 2009, the same year that Millikin, 66, became GM’s chief legal counsel. Milliken has had a 38-year career with GM.

Glidden is a graduate of the law school at Florida State University, where he was editor-in-chief of its law review. He received a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University.

Glidden began his law career in 1983 at the firm Shackleford, Farrior, Stallings & Evans in Florida, then joined Texas-based corporate law firm Beirne, Maynard & Parsons in 1988, where he specialized in energy and commercial litigation, according to a 2009 announcement from LyondellBasell about his hiring.

Glidden launched his own law firm, Glidden Partners, in 1996, before leaving to join Texas-based petrochemical producer Chevron Phillips Chemical in 2000. He rose to serve as general counsel, chief legal officer and executive vice president before joining LyondellBasell in 2009.

Milliken’s legal department has been criticized over the way it handled matters related to the automaker’s defective ignition switch, which has led to more than 50 deaths. Last year, GM hired the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to review the company’s litigation practices.

Glidden’s appointment is effective March 1.

Earlier this month, when GM filed its quarterly earnings report with federal regulators, it said Millikin would retire in July and be available for consulting through the end of the year.

Jeffrey A. Kaplan, 46, will succeed Glidden as chief legal officer at LyondellBasell, the company said. He has been deputy general counsel at LyondellBasell since December 2009. Like Glidden, he joined the company from Chevron Phillips, where he served in a variety of roles, including deputy general counsel, according to a press release from LyondellBasell.

Reporting by Bernie Woodall in New York; Additional reporting by Jessica Dye in New York.; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe

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