Michael Williams

Senior Advisor

Michael has served for more than 25 years in chief legal officer, corporate secretary, and outside counsel leadership roles, advising Fortune 500 CEOs, senior executives, and boards of directors on strategic corporate growth and restructuring in the United States and abroad. With substantial experience leading mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, strategic partnerships, securities and investor matters, and respected for his longstanding executive leadership across multiple corporate functions, Michael has a strong business orientation and strategic focus.

Most recently the Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & Secretary of Staples, Inc., he led all legal, compliance, and secretarial functions while the Massachusetts-based company was the largest office product company in the world with customers in 25 countries and was taken private. Michael directed 65 in-house legal staff in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and South America, with seven direct reports including compliance and regulatory VPs, and legal country and regional leaders. Additionally, he managed cybersecurity incident response, and trade strategy teams.

Before his tenure at Staples, Inc., Michael served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary at Sony Electronics, Inc., responsible for all legal functions for the multibillion-dollar electronics company in the U.S., Central America, and South America. By creating winning legal and commercial strategies, he improved financial performance, compliance, and risk mitigation. He was recognized globally within Sony for creating a “Center of Excellence” for global brand marketing, lowering costs, and implementing software efficiencies. He received operating awards for reducing external legal costs by 20%, reducing internal operational spend by 9%, and increasing efficiencies by deploying new information systems and technologies.