American legal search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa has announced the placement of Steven E. Zipperstein as Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Research in Motion, Limited. Reporting to the President & CEO, Zipperstein, as the senior-most legal executive, will oversee legal, compliance, communications and government relations functions for the company.
Mr. Zipperstein will be a strategic business advisor to the President & CEO and other executives and members of the top leadership team, contributing actively to the evolution and execution of Research in Motion’s strategic and operational business plans. The search was led by Paul Williams, Managing Partner of MLA’s Chicago office and Judy Allen, Managing Partner of MLA’s San Francisco and Palo Alto offices.
“RIM was seeking an exceptional lawyer who can help lead the organization at a time of rapid change in the marketplace; change that demands innovation, creativity and the ability to execute,” says Paul Williams. “Steve is the ideal choice,” adds Judy Allen. “He is an experienced leader who has run a large and complex legal department and spent 14 years as in-house counsel in the telecommunications industry.”
Zipperstein joins Research in Motion following a distinguished career at Verizon Wireless and related companies. Initially hired as Associate General Counsel responsible for legal affairs in the western United States and Hawaii for GTE Corporation, Zipperstein was promoted to Deputy General Counsel with corporate-wide responsibility for state regulatory, litigation and compliance matters. Following the formation of Verizon Communications with the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic, he was appointed Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel with corporate-wide responsibility for litigation, compliance and international legal matters. In 2003 Zipperstein was promoted to General Counsel of Verizon Wireless, with responsibility for all legal, regulatory, government affairs, compliance and security functions.
Prior to joining Verizon, Zipperstein served as a federal prosecutor for 9 years with the United States Attorney’s office in Los Angeles. He specialized in white collar crime including bank fraud, securities fraud and tax fraud. Zipperstein began his legal career in the litigation practice at Hufstedler, Miller, Carlson & Beardsley in Los Angeles.
Zipperstein holds a J.D. from the University of California, Davis Law School where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and Law Review Editor. He earned a B.A., magna cum laude, in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles.