Vice President, General Counsel

Posted Date: Oct- 6-2021

Job ID: 21908

Job Type: Full Time

Job Function: Executive Leadership

City: Seattle

State: Washington

Store: Seattle HQ

Remote Eligible: No

Please visit the Covid-19 Hiring Updates before applying

What's cool about this job

The Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary will be a trusted advisor to the Board of Directors, the CEO, the Chief Legal Officer as well as the rest of REI’s executive leadership team.  They will have direct responsibility for the management, development and operations of the Legal department, and provide legal advice and advise the leadership team and Board of Directors on issues currently and potentially affecting the co-op.  The General Counsel will act as a business advisor by understanding the organization’s strategic direction and integrating legal decisions into that framework.  They will provide leadership and perspective on the distinctive role of REI as a co-operative business in advancing the interests of co-op members and the outdoor industry. 


With oversight of the legal function, the General Counsel will lead the team in advancing REI’s business objectives as a Vice-President and officer of the co-op.  The range of operational activities at REI is beyond that of a conventional specialty retailer.  For example, through REI Experiences, the co-op has many thousands of customers in field experiences around the world.  Understanding and appreciating the benefit and risk in outdoor recreation is essential to success in this role.  Additionally, because of the co-op model, REI is a leading voice in the public policy arena with respect to outdoor recreation and the stewardship of public recreational lands.  They will bring experience and perspective to the policy work of the co-op.  Finally, they will provide advice to the Board of Directors and its committees to ensure business dealings, practices and policies meet the needs and objectives of the co-op while managing legal risk and ensuring legal and regulatory compliance.


At REI Co-op, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived and exist to inspire and enable a life outside for everyone.  To deliver on that promise, we are working with our 15,000 employees, 20M members and the broader outdoor community toward a reality where everyone has the opportunity to be themselves, to access opportunities and find their place in the outdoors. For us, that means: 


  • Investing in work that removes the barriers people and communities face to getting outside
  • Delivering relevant products, experiences, and expertise to equip and inspire a new generation of outdoor stewards
  • Cultivating a workforce that reflects the demographics of the markets we serve
  • Leading the industry’s efforts to welcome people and communities historically underrepresented into outdoor media and culture

Bring your passion and expertise

Essential Leadership Behaviors

  • Develop and foster strong relationships with the Board of Directors and be a respected representative for the Company.
  • Lead, motivate, develop and mentor the team of 12-15 professionals who have close working relationships with all divisions of the company.
  • Manage the day-to-day activities of the legal division, including corporate governance, real estate, marketing regulatory compliance, product liability, contracts, employment matters, information security and other relevant business issues.
  • Prepare and review legal documents and provide counsel to the executive team on legal matters.
  • Work closely with the Chief Legal Officer, the CEO and the leadership team to develop overall business/legal strategy and address legal and regulatory issues faced by the company.
  • Advise senior management with respect to legal issues and risk management concerning the development and implementation of business strategy, company operations, establishment of the corporate governance structure, and the ongoing development of company policies.
  • Serve as Corporate Secretary regarding co-op governance matters and management of entity filings and related documentation.
  • Oversee the management of claims, litigation, and risk management activities, including the management of outside counsel regarding the same, and the general oversight of the company’s programs.
  • Advise leadership and business units on all corporate transactions, as well as legal and compliance issues.
  • Lead complex legal transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and other strategic partnerships.
  • Oversee the drafting, review and/or negotiation of various types of contracts.
  • Review and advise on legal and business issues relevant to the retail industry, the outdoor industry, and other areas of the co-op’s operations (e.g., standards of care in outdoor recreation programs).
  • Ensure that the legal function is a respected business partner by planning, budgeting and delivering legal information and services that support corporate goals in a timely and fiscally responsible manner.
  • Cultivate a strong legal team and culture.
  • Implement talent development and succession plans to support the current and future talent needs of the company. 

Professional Qualifications and Experience

  • The successful candidate will have at least 15 years of progressive legal in-house experience managing a legal division or department in a complex, dynamic and highly competitive consumer industry.
  • The candidate will have relevant experience working with a Board of Directors in a strategic and advisory capacity.
  • The candidate will have demonstrated success in influencing strategic business decisions, merger and acquisition experience in a true business partner role for a $3 billion+ in revenue business or business unit.
  • J.D. required from a credentialed law school.
  • The candidate will be registered and in good standing with at least one State Bar and eligible to practice law in the State of Washington.
  • Experience in dynamic, fast moving and complex businesses is strongly required.
  • The ideal candidate has a passion for community relationships and has played the business partner/advisor role representing an organization.
  • Experience in retail or consumer business is preferable. Experience in non-retail or consumer best-in-class company is beneficial.
  • Unquestionable integrity, ethics, and judgment. The courage and ability to take a strong position in a culturally calibrated way as required for the good of the company.
  • Excellent communication, relationship building and influencing skills. The ability to be collaborative, drive progress, help the organization evaluate ideas from a legal and operations perspective, and keep the organization focused on its goals.
  • The ability to represent the whole company with internal and external audiences, consistent with the co-op’s values.
  • Intellectually curious with a balance of EQ and IQ that drives understanding of complex business, economic, political, and social issues, and trends.
  • Ability to help the company take appropriate business risks.
  • Ability to anticipate, recognize and assess relevance of issues before escalating to major issues.
  • Effective crisis manager who can apply mature judgment in the face of well-mobilized external stakeholders and critics.
  • Strong skills in preparing and delivering high level formal and informal presentations to both internal and external clients. Presents complex information in a clear and concise manner.
  • A natural leader with proven abilities across a broad range of internal and external constituencies.
  • A team player with a high level of self and cross-cultural awareness. Demonstrated track record of building strong and enduring relationships and teams. 
  • Authentic, confident, and assertive.
  • The ability to influence and inspire through, around and with people in a fast-growing, dynamic organization.

At REI we offer an enviable work environment that Fortune Magazine has recognized on the "100 Best Places to Work" list since the award's inception – 23 years in a row! Sure, we work hard, but it’s balanced with time off to play—a strategy that works for us as we continue to grow and thrive. Want to enjoy a workplace where you can be yourself, be heard and be respected while having a job that challenges you? This is the place.

With more than 160 retail locations (and growing), REI offers unique competitive benefits to its more than 15,000 employees, including healthcare, gear and apparel discounts, free equipment rentals and challenge grants to help employees reach personal outdoor goals, generous retirement plan contributions, public transit subsidy, adoptions assistance, paid sabbaticals, and more.

REI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

ARTICLE 23-A, Section 753

§753. Factors to be considered concerning a previous criminal conviction; presumption.

1. In making a determination pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-two of this chapter, the public agency or private employer shall consider the following factors:

(a) The public policy of this state, as expressed in this act, to encourage the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses.

(b) The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the license or employment sought or held by the person.

(c) The bearing, if any, the criminal offense or offenses for which the person was previously convicted will have on his fitness or ability to perform one or more such duties or responsibilities.

(d) The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.

(e) The age of the person at the time of occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.

(f) The seriousness of the offense or offenses.

(g) Any information produced by the person, or produced on his behalf, in regard to his rehabilitation and good conduct.

(h) The legitimate interest of the public agency or private employer in protecting property, and the safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

2. In making a determination pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-two of this chapter, the public agency or private employer shall also give consideration to a certificate of relief from disabilities or a certificate of good conduct issued to the applicant, which certificate shall create a presumption of rehabilitation in regard to the offense or offenses specified therein.