Michael Cunningham, executive vice president and general counsel of Red Hat Inc. has had a varied career.
Prior to joining Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat in 2004, an open-source software provider, Cunningham was associate general counsel for IBM, where he also served as the lead lawyer for the Business Consulting Services division for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and a partner and associate general counsel of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where his duties included global responsibility for the delivery of transactional legal services to PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting.
He also has worked in private practice in mergers and acquisitions and securities. And he had a career before law, working as an engineer at Sperry Defense Electronics, now Unisys, involved in systems engineering for radar and defense communications systems. And there's more. Before working as an engineer, Cunningham was a certified commercial deep sea diver and diving instructor.
Cunningham, 52, earned a Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics and statistics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (with high honors and Phi Beta Kappa) and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
He is passionate about Red Hat, reading, fishing, attempting to make and perform music with his children, the ocean and travel. He recently led the legal team to a win in an internal food drive for the hungry.
He is married to Jane Whittendale, whom he calls a "certifiable saint and loving soul," and they have two children in college.
Cunningham said he uses several law firms. For corporate law, he uses Mark Borden at WilmerHale and Dennis Friedman and Eduardo Smith Anderson at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. For competition law, he uses John Harkrider at Axinn Veltrop Harkrider. For patent law, he uses Steve Gardner and Bill Boice at Kilpatrick Townsend, Kathi Lutton and Frank Scherkenbach at Fish & Richardson, and Bill Lee and Cynthia Vreeland at WilmerHale. For employment law he uses Randy Avram at Kilpatrick Townsend.
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We are responsible for all legal work required by Red Hat worldwide. We have approximately 30 qualified attorneys in 10 offices, including presences in Brazil, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the U.S. But much of our most important work is done by legal professionals on the team that are not lawyers. They are every bit as central to our mission as the attorneys.
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