Legal Business Blogs

In-house: Virgin Media completes leadership reshuffle with new general counsel as Weight Watchers unveils its new GC

Home entertainment company Virgin Media has completed the overhaul of its executive following its £15bn acquisition by Liberty Global in 2013, announcing Mine Hifzi as its general counsel today (17 March).

Hifzi was previously senior vice president of commercial and legal affairs for Scripps Networks Interactive where she held a combined business strategy and legal role. She also spent 14 years heading up the international legal and government affairs team at Discovery Communications and prior to that worked in senior positions at Turner Broadcasting Systems Europe and United International Pictures.

As general counsel, Hifzi will report directly to CEO Tom Mockridge on Virgin Media’s executive board.

Her appointment follows the resignation of former Virgin Media GC Scott Dresser in 2012. During Liberty’s takeover last year, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson corporate partner Robert Mollen advised Virgin Media as acting GC, assisted by director of corporate development and assistant GC Caroline Withers, whose elevated role in the takeover led to her selection and inclusion in Legal Business GC Power List: Rising Stars 2014.

Mockridge said: ‘Mine brings great wealth of industry experience to this strategically important position. I am pleased to welcome her to a leadership team, drawn from within Virgin Media, Liberty Global and beyond, which has extensive international telecommunications and media experience. Together, as part of Liberty Global, we are building on the momentum of 2013 as we position ourselves for future growth.’

Meanwhile, one of the best-known names in the dieting world, Weight Watchers, announced on Friday (14 March) that it has appointed Michael Colosi as its general counsel and company secretary from 19 May.

Colosi joins after 14 years with American fashion house Kenneth Cole Productions, where he was senior vice president, general counsel and secretary.

He will report to president and chief executive Jim Chambers and will serve as a member of the New York-based company’s executive committee.

Previously the role of GC was held by former Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher lawyer Jeffrey Fiarman, who joined IDEXX Laboratories in May last year.

Weight Watcher’s vice president and assistant general counsel, Richard Reade, who is based in the company’s Maidenhead base in the UK and focuses primarily on legal work in Europe and Australasia, will now report to Colosi.

Law firms to have advised Weight Watchers in Europe include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Osborne Clarke.

Chambers said: ‘Michael fills a critical role on the executive committee. His analytical background, judgement and experience across a wide range of legal, operational and executive responsibilities will make him a trusted strategic advisor and partner for me and the rest of the executive committee as we continue to transform the company.’

While at Kenneth Cole, Colosi served as chief legal officer for the multi-brand retail, wholesale and licensing company, both while it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and throughout its transition to a private company.

Prior to Kenneth Cole Productions, Colosi was associate general counsel and assistant secretary for NYSE-listed clothing company Warnaco.