General Motors, the largest US automaker and the third biggest carmaker in the world announced yesterday that its new chief counsel would be Craig Glidden, chief legal officer at chemicals company LyondellBasell Industries NV, succeeding Michael Millikin, set to retire this July.
Glidden, 57, has been implicated in LyondellBasell’s coming out of bankruptcy and helped with the restructuring efforts – a situation mirrored at GM. Just like the automaker, the chemical, plastics and oil refining company had to go through the bankruptcy restructuring process back in 2009 and finished the process in 2010. Glidden was at the helm of the legal department of LyondellBasell since 2009, the same year that Millikin, 66, was named as the automaker’s new head legal counsel. Milliken was a GM lifer though – with a career at the automaker that span 38 years. Glidden finished law school at Florida State University, where he also acted as editor-in-chief of its law review and he finished with a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University. Glidden’s appointment becomes effective since March 1.
Milliken’s legal department last year came under heavy critics after more news emerged about the way it handled the legal matters pertaining to the automaker’s flawed ignition switch – which has been tied so far to more than 50 fatalities. Back in February the automaker acknowledged it was late at least a decade calling back to service 2.6 million older cars equipped with the defective switch. Among the people who had knowledge of the defect were employees of the legal department, an internal investigation concluded – with several of the people being subsequently let go. Allegation hovered over Milliken, though the probe said he had no knowledge of the defect – just like other top executives – prior to the recall’s announcement.