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Inside Track: Making In-House Attorneys Open To Change. Plus, A Shifting Industry Makes M&A Difficult.

Dan Clark LAW.COM

More and more companies are hiring chief compliance officers and chief privacy officers, according to Michael Sachs, a partner in the in-house group at Major, Lindsey & Africa.

2010 is when Sachs said companies began to hire compliance professionals and chief compliance officers. This is in large part because of more stringent regulations in certain industries.

Over the past couple of years, Sachs said, there has been a greater focus on hiring chief privacy officers or senior privacy attorneys for much of the same reason: increased regulation in the data privacy space.

“It’s one of the hottest fields you can find out there,” he said.

Sachs said he expects to see compliance officers take on the role of privacy officer as more states pass data privacy legislation. However, not all companies will give the job an office in the C-suite.

“In a lot of companies it is not called the CPO because that denotes a certain level of status and the company may not consider that position as critical as the chief marketing officer,” Sachs said.

He added in many cases companies are hiring a senior attorney who reports to the general counsel, but that person is often in charge of privacy and cybersecurity initiatives.

“I don’t see anything stopping this trend right now,” Sachs said.

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