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Oct 19, 2022

AbbVie legal chief to retire

Laura Schumacher has been with the company and its predecessor for more than three decades

Laura Schumacher, chief legal officer and vice chair of external affairs with NYSE-listed AbbVie, will retire from the company following a transition period, marking the end of a 32-year career at the company and its predecessor Abbott Laboratories.

Perry Siatis, who is at present senior vice president and deputy general counsel, will take on the role of executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary.

Before AbbVie’s separation from Abbott, Schumacher spent 22 years at Abbott in a number of leadership positions. Following the separation, she built and led the new company’s global legal team and all externally facing functions such as ethics and compliance, government affairs, communications, corporate marketing, philanthropy and health economics & outcomes research. According to the company, Schumacher has identified and led transactions including the $63 bn acquisition of Allergan in 2020.

In addition, Schumacher created AbbVie’s diversity in law program, which the company says has significantly increased representation in the organization and with external law firms.

Laura Schumacher,

Schumacher joined Abbott as a litigation attorney and held leadership positions at the company before becoming senior vice president and general counsel in 2005. Before joining Abbott, she was an associate attorney with the law firm Schiff Hardin & Waite.

Richard Gonzalez, chair and CEO of AbbVie, says in a statement: ‘It is difficult to overstate the extraordinary impact Laura has had on AbbVie over the past 10 years. [She] was instrumental in the creation of AbbVie in 2013, helping to shape the strategy, structure and culture that have made us so successful as a company today.

‘Although she is clearly one of the finest legal minds in the industry and has spearheaded any number of complex legal and regulatory issues for us, her contributions to AbbVie go far beyond the legal department. I have relied on her as a trusted strategic counselor and invaluable colleague. The entire board of directors joins me in wishing her all the best in her retirement from the company.’

Siatis joined the legal team of Abbott in 2005 and has since taken on a series of increasingly senior positions in the department. He is currently responsible for corporate governance and overseeing and providing legal guidance for commercial, transactional, R&D and litigation matters globally. According to Abbvie, Siatis has developed and implemented the litigation, intellectual property and legal strategy for several of the company’s important products and has been chief compliance officer.

Gonzalez states: ‘Perry is the optimal choice to build on Laura’s successes. He has contributed significantly to our growth since joining AbbVie in 2005, leading our ethics and compliance programs and strategic initiatives in areas such as [M&A], litigation, licensing and intellectual property. I look forward to working even more closely with [him].’

Ben Maiden

Ben Maiden is the editor-at-large of Governance Intelligence, an IR Media publication, having joined the company in December 2016. He is based in New York. Ben was previously managing editor of Compliance Reporter, covering regulatory and compliance...