Pinterest General Counsel and Google Alumna Set to Resign

Bloomberg Law

Pinterest Inc., the social scrapbooking platform that has been a possible acquisition target, is losing its general counsel on Oct. 1, the company disclosed in a securities filing.

Christine Flores goes help pinterest in the “orderly transition” of her duties as the company launches a search to find her replacement, according to Wednesday’s filing.

Pinterest hired her from Google to be its chief legal officer in 2017. She had joined Google from Alphabet Inc. in 2007 and spent the next decade there, rising to the level of vice president of legal affairs before being recruited by Pinterest, based in San Francisco.

Flores is expected to leave Pinterest about a year after the month PayPal Holdings Inc. said it was not interested in a potential $45 billion acquisition of the company. Microsoft Corp. also reportedly expressed interest in buying Pinterest last year.

Flores has been a “valued member” of Pinterest’s executive ranks, said spokeswoman LeMia Jenkins Thompson, who cited her work in taking the company public in 2019.

Pinterest’s IPO raised $1.4 billion and generated $2 million in legal fees for the firm’s securities attorneys at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Potter Anderson & Corroon of Delaware.

“Christine will be involved in identifying the new general counsel and facilitating a smooth transition,” Thompson said.

Latest from Pinterest proxy statement shows that Flores received nearly $4.8 million in total compensation in fiscal 2020. More than $4.4 million of that was stock awards. Flores’ annual base salary was $345,000.

Securities filings show that over the past year, Flores has sold more than $17.8 million worth of Pinterest stock. She currently owns Pinterest stock valued at around $7.3 million, according to Bloomberg data.

Flores began her career as a corporate partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which advised underwriters on the Pinterest IPO, and Proskauer Rose.

His role at Google saw Flores overseeing 100 attorneys, as well as corporate governance, ethics and compliance, legal operations, mergers and acquisitions, real estate and securities.

At Pinterest, she oversaw changes to its legal team.

The company saw longtime assistant general counsel Anthony Falzone leave last year to become the top lawyer at Clubhouse, a private social media app. Pinterest also hired former Twitter chief legal officer Michele Lee for a position that put her in charge of the company’s legal, regulatory and employment teams.

Bloomberg News reported in October that PayPal had approached Pinterest about a potential buy at $70 a share. The failed deal would have been PayPal’s biggest ever acquisition. Longtime Paypal chief legal officer A. Louise Pentland resigned at the end of the year.

In November, Pinterest agreed to spend $50 million to promote diversity and inclusion initiatives within the company over the next 10 years as part of a settlement of lawsuits brought by investors.

Pinterest hired Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to investigate its work culture in 2020 after two former black employees of his public policy team left the company amid accusations of racial bias and unfair compensation.

Françoise Brougher, the former COO of Pinterest, sued the company later that year, alleging she was fired after speaking out about gender discrimination in a male-dominated C-suite. Brougher, who claimed she was paid less than her male peers, secured a $20 million settlement from Pinterest in late 2020.

Pinterest has admitted no wrongdoing in the deal, but has pledged to commit $2.5 million to programs that improve representation in the tech industry.

A walkout of more than 350 Pinterest employees following Brougher’s lawsuit saw the company make changes to its board of directors in a bid to diversify its corporate direction.