James E. Thompson, General Counsel Chiquita
James E. Thompson serves as Chiquita’s senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, with responsibility for the company’s global law department. He serves on the company’s management committee and reports to Ed Lonergan, president and CEO.
Thompson joined Chiquita in April 2006 as senior vice president and chief compliance officer. Prior to Chiquita, Thompson served as group vice president, general counsel and secretary at McLeodUSA, Inc., one of the nation’s largest independent competitive telecommunications service providers with operations in 25 U.S. states. In that role, he led McLeodUSA’s legal department and implemented corporate governance initiatives, such as Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance. He was also responsible for regulatory compliance, including federal and state public policy and advocacy.
Prior to McLeodUSA, Thompson was director and associate general counsel for the international legal department at Alticor, Inc., and served as chief legal officer for its innovations business unit. In these roles, he managed legal support for Alticor’s international affiliates around the world, including the entry of the company into new global markets. Thompson also was a member of the global competition practice at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue at its Washington, DC and Brussels offices, where his principal practice area was complex corporate transactions with international components and antitrust and trade regulation.
Thompson earned his juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School and received his bachelor’s degree in history in the Department of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Michigan. In addition, he was the first American selected as a law clerk stagiaire at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, and ws a stagiaire at the Legal Service of the European Commission in Brussels.