If you have a friend who might be interested in serving as the general counsel to a leading technology company, you might want to give that person a poke. As we mentioned earlier today, a top job is about to open up: Ted Ullyot plans to step down as GC of Facebook in the not-too-distant future.
What types of issues has Ullyot tackled in his time at Facebook? How well has he been compensated in his role? Where might he be headed next?
Let’s look at some SEC filings, as well as his departure memo….
In a statement to Bloomberg News, Facebook noted that “Ted has been a valued member of Facebook’s leadership who built our legal team through an intense five-year period in which we faced complex and high-stakes legal issues of all types.” And that’s certainly true: in his time at the company, Ullyot has overseen legal disputes with such colorful characters as Paul Ceglia and the Winklevoss twins (which were memorialized in The Social Network), a patent battle with Yahoo!, and, of course, Facebook’s huge IPO. (Disclosure: I own some Facebook shares that I bought around the time of the IPO. Sigh.)
Ullyot has been rewarded handsomely for his work. According to The Recorder, citing SEC filings, “Ullyot holds restricted stock units which vest over time and would be worth about $35 million based on Friday’s share price.” In addition, Ullyot has previously sold more than $24 million in Facebook shares, also according to SEC filings. (The bulk of Ullyot’s compensation has come through stock; his base salary is just $275,000, as you can see in his employment agreement with the company.)
Ullyot has had some amazing legal jobs over the years: law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, partner at Kirkland & Ellis, associate White House counsel, general counsel for AOL Time Warner Europe, and GC of Facebook. Where is he headed next?
That’s not clear, although word on the street is that it’s unlikely to be another in-house post. In his departure memo, reprinted in full on the next page, Ullyot explains that he’s still “figur[ing] out the next opportunity that (as Chamath would say) takes me out of my comfort zone again.”
Even if taken out of his comfort zone, Ted Ullyot will surely excel, as he has time after time over the years. We wish him the best of luck in his next venture, whatever it might be.
(Flip to the next page to read Ullyot’s witty and charming departure memo.)