What Directors Need to Know When Buying or Selling a Company

Rock Center and SVDX Present:

What Directors Need to Know When Buying or Selling a Company

Register Here


7:30 am – 8:00 am – Continental Breakfast

8:00 am – 9:30 am – Program


Crown Quadrangle

559 Nathan Abbott Way

Stanford, CA 94305


This panel will offer board members a practical approach to considering M&A transactions from both the buyer and seller perspective.  Topics will include:

  • How board members should approach the M&A transaction process
  • Assessing the deal
  • Analyzing the potential sale of a company — when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em
  • Questions to ask
  • Working with advisers
  • Key legal issues
  • Differences between public and private transactions


This event is free and open to the public.  Registration is recommended. Click here to register for this event.

This program, like all SVDX programs, is subject to the Chatham House Rule.


Steve Bene

General Counsel, Pandora Media, Inc.

Steve Bene is General Counsel and a member of the executive team at Pandora Media, Inc., the U.S.’s largest internet music streaming service. At Pandora, Steve works with a team of 30 legal professionals and oversees all facets of the company’s legal strategy and operations. Steve joined Pandora in 2014, and prior to that spent 19 years at Electronic Arts Inc., a global videogame developer and publisher, the last 10 of those years as General Counsel. Before going in-house, Steve was a corporate and licensing associate at Fenwick & West. Steve has spent his entire career in Silicon Valley, and got his JD from Stanford Law School.

To view Steve Bene’s full bio, click here.


Ron Codd

Corporate Director, ServiceNow, FireEye, Veeva Systems, Rocketfuel, Inc., and Adaptive Insights

Ron Codd is an independent consultant and corporate director with over 30 years of experience working with high technology, high growth firms in financial and general management roles. From late 2007 to early 2008, he was the interim CEO of UltraCell Corporation, a designer, manufacturer and marketer of micro fuel cells. Ron was also previously the CFO and senior vice president of finance and administration for PeopleSoft. During his seven year tenure at PeopleSoft, he managed PeopleSoft’s successful IPO in 1992 and oversaw its growth in annualized revenues from $15 million to $1.5 billion. Prior to that, he held a series of senior
management positions with MIPS Computer Systems, Wyse Technology and Tandem Computers.

To view Ron Codd’s full bio, click here.


Jennifer Fitchen

Partner, Sidley Austin

Jennifer Fonner Fitchen (formerly DiNucci) is a partner in the firm’s Palo Alto office and is a leader of the firm’s Northern California M&A group. She is also the current Chair of the ABA’s Acquisitions of Public Companies Subcommittee. Jen counsels public and private companies on both friendly and hostile acquisition transactions, divestitures and spin-outs, mergers-of-equals, going-private transactions, deals involving earnouts and contingent value rights, and complex structures such as inversion, double-dummy and reverse morris trust transactions. Her experience includes transactions that are truly one-of-a-kind. Jen’s experience includes over 130 transactions involving in excess of $80 billion in value and more than 20 years practicing in Northern California.

To view Jennifer Fitchen’s full bio, click here.


Nell O’Donnell

Vice President and General Counsel, Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.

As Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Brocade, Nell O’Donnell is responsible for the company’s global legal work, including management of the company’s intellectual property portfolio, commercial transactions, and regulatory compliance programs. Nell brings to Brocade a strong background in licensing and corporate governance, and diverse industry experience from a career working in corporate legal departments, law firms, and entrepreneurial ventures. She has assisted cloud computing and software-as-a-service companies with intellectual property ownership and licensing, commercial agreements, and privacy and data security issues. Her corporate experience includes roles as SVP and General Counsel at Micromuse Inc. and Associate General Counsel at LucasArts.

To view Nell O’Donnell’s full bio, click here.