Deere appoints chief legal officer

By Staff
2 Min Read

Deere & Company named a former Eastman Chemical Company executive to head the equipment maker’s legal operations. 

Kellye Walker will join as senior vice president, chief legal officer and worldwide public affairs, effective April 29, the John Deere tractor maker said Monday.

In her new role, Walker will take over as general counsel and hold executive management responsibility for Deere’s global law and patent departments, according to a news release. She also will oversee the company’s public affairs, environmental, health and safety functions.

The appointment comes amid a flurry of national media attention regarding a “right-to-repair” antitrust case brought by farmers who allege the company monopolized the repair service market for John Deere branded equipment with onboard central computers. The case could be delayed at least six months due to disputes over data releases.

Walker has more than 25 years of senior executive experience, previously managing teams at Huntington Ingalls Industries, the largest military shipbuilder in the U.S., beverage maker Diageo North America and BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Most recently, Walker served as executive vice president and chief legal officer at Eastman Chemical, where she led the legal organization and had oversight of corporate, environmental and regulatory matters.

“Her exceptional strategic leadership and problem-solving skills, along with her proven ability to deliver results in a rapidly changing environment, will be of real benefit to our company as we continue to deliver groundbreaking products, services, and outcomes for our ag, construction, and forestry customers around the world,” John May, chairman and CEO of Deere said in a statement.

Walker will succeed Mary Jones, who plans to retire later this year. Jones has been Deere’s senior vice president and general counsel for more than 10 years after joining as an attorney in 1997.

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