LinkedInErika Rottenberg

Erika Rottenberg

Pressing Pause

San Francisco Bay Area
  1. LinkedIn (LNKD),
  2. SumTotal Systems (SUMT),
  3. Creative Labs (CREAF)
  1. University of California, Berkeley - Boalt Hall School of Law

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University of California, Berkeley - Boalt Hall School of Law

University of California, Berkeley - Boalt Hall School of Law


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Legal Insights, Business Enabler.

Experienced, results-oriented, values-based Executive and GC whose Legal Department's mission is to drive business results by ensuring the freedom to operate lawfully while promoting LinkedIn’s values and culture. Excel at navigating uncharted waters, building bridges and bringing parties together -- solving sticky wickets. Passionate about building high-performing teams, by walking the talk on culture and values.

Privileged to help mentor women professionals, pre-professionals, students as well as other general counsels, and advise companies that are scaling and tackling the evolving global privacy and data security landscapes. Committed to "doing good" and making a difference in our world professionally as well as through my avocations, whether through Girl Scouts, pro bono, or by lending a helping hand, whether locally or globally.

Prior to LinkedIn, I was SVP, GC and Secretary, for Nasdaq-listed SumTotal Systems, a talent management company. Previously, I was Vice President, Strategic Development and General Counsel, for Nasdaq and Singapore Stock Exchange listed Creative Labs, the company that brought multimedia to the PC with the Sound Blaster sound card. I earned my law degree from Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and started my legal career at the Silicon Valley technology law firm Cooley Godward, where I practiced corporate and employment law. I began my professional career as a schoolteacher in Anchorage, Alaska.


VP, General Counsel & Secretary

LinkedIn (LNKD)
(6 years 3 months)Mountain View, California

Passionate about always ensuring our members come first and driving business results, as LinkedIn's first full-time attorney and General Counsel, I've built and led an awesome legal team -- through the early days in 2008 of 18M members, $78M revenue, 250 employees, to today's 300+M members, $2B revenue and 6000+ employees.

As a global legal team, we navigated the predictable and unpredictable -- dealing with issues faced by a hyper-growth, fast-paced, disruptive internet company. A few of the accomplishments I'm most proud of include earning and maintaining our members' trust, our IPO and follow-on offerings, navigating and helping shape the ever-evolving and conflicting global privacy and data security landscape, our offensive and defensive IP strategy, our values-based China launch, ensuring our members and the LinkedIn community have transparency into what data we collect and how we use that data, from both company and government perspectives, and, most importantly, enabling my fellow executives and colleagues to be great at what they do, by ensuring we avoid legal roadblocks. I'm also proud of pushing the envelope on pro-bono service, the "patent troll" tax, and "value-based legal fee" arrangements. Mostly, I just love avoiding and solving big legal, regulatory and policy issues on a global basis, thinking outside the box but being guided by in the box thinking, so that we can enable the business to achieve its goals.

Expertise: privacy and data security, working with governments and regulators, corporate (governance, public offerings, M&A), board advice (counsel to Board of Directors, and its governance, compensation and audit committees), intellectual property (IP), commercial, dispute avoidance and resolution, litigation, advertising, employment, compliance, and global expansion, and all other matters facing a fast-paced, hyper-growth global private and public internet social-media company.

SVP, General Counsel & Secretary

SumTotal Systems (SUMT)
(4 years 5 months)Mountain View, California

I joined SumTotal the day before it was formed as a result of a merger of equals between Docent and Click2Learn, and integrated, streamlined and built legal department.
-Led legal efforts on shelf-registration statement, two successful acquisitions and post-acquisition integration.
-Strategically litigated material patent infringement lawsuit, positioned case for settlement, and settled on favorable terms.
-Within first year and a half, settled four of five litigation matters on favorable terms. Won federal circuit appeal affirming summary judgment in patent infringement lawsuit.
-Developed and delivered, on world-wide basis, various training programs, including Corporate Ethics, Insider Trading and FCPA, amongst others.
-Conceptualized, established and implemented legal systems to ensure appropriate stock option issuances, securities law compliance, 404 and governance policies and procedures.

VP, Strategic Development and General Counsel

Creative Labs (CREAF)
(6 years)

2000-2002 VP, Strategic Development & General Counsel, a Nasdaq and Singapore listed company
-Responsible for broad based legal work at Creative, including general commercial, corporate, IP, litigation and employment matters.
-Lead business and legal corporate venture fund negotiator for domestic and international private equity investments (with accompanying intellectual property agreements including license, joint development and distribution agreements) and public equity investments.
-Lead negotiator on numerous acquisitions of both private and public companies (equity and asset) and drove post acquisition integration matters.
-Strategically litigated and settled multiple litigation matters.
-Jumpstarted and oversaw patent prosecution program, and staunch defender of Blaster family of trademarks.
-Significantly reduced outside counsel fees through partnering with and leveraging outside counsel and by implementing alternative fee arrangements.

1996-2000 various positions - including a two year stint in Strategic Development being a "deal jockey".


Cooley Godward
(3 years 8 months)

Knowing that I wanted to move in-house and be a part of the business, I practiced general corporate law in the Firm's Sand Hill Road office, where I worked with terrific corporate lawyers on IPOs and Secondary Offerings, Mergers and Acquisitions, Venture Financings, and general representation of start-up companies. I started at the firm as an employment lawyer focusing mostly on counseling and transactional work, in addition to litigation. I also chaired the firm's participation in the East Palo Alto Volunteer Attorney Project, a legal aid clinic in a community which, at the time, had the highest per capita murder rate in the country.


Anchorage School District
(5 years)Anchorage, Alaska

Won a bet and moved to Anchorage, Alaska to teach special education to junior high schoolers. Active member of the Anchorage Education Association, the local chapter of the National Education Association, Alaska. I Chaired the Grievance Committee, and was Spokesperson of the Bargaining Team for the 1989-1991 teacher's contract, achieving a 2 year contract, post federal mediation, worth over $250M, revamped health insurance and secured non monetary gains (eg., planning time) for over 2500 teachers.

Honors & Awards

Opening Doors to Justice - OneJustice 2014 Honoree

America's 50 Outstanding General Counsel - National Law Journal, 2014's-50-Outstanding-General-Counsel?slreturn=20140702111459

Innovative Lawyer of the Year - 2013 Financial Times

Best Bay Area General Counsel, Public Company under $1B, 2013

LinkedIn's Legal Eagles - Top 10 Legal Team - Financial Times, 2013

25 Leading General Counsel in California, 2011

LinkedIn's Legal Eagles


Volunteer Experience & Causes

Board Member

Girl Scouts of Northern California
– Present (2 years 8 months)Children

Privileged to be a Board member of an organization that played such an integral role in my success and happiness today by teaching me leadership and resiliency, as well as fueling my passion for the outdoors. I encourage you to also get involved in building girls of confidence, character and courage!

Board Member

Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
– Present (5 years 6 months)Civil Rights and Social Action

LFSV helps ensure that all people, regardless of their social or economic condition, have access to quality legal services. The opposite of poverty is not wealth, it is access to justice (Bryan Stevenson). Are you doing your part? To the inhouse attorneys reading this: Make a difference. Commit, and encourage your colleagues to commit, to ten hours of pro bono legal work this year.

Executive Sponsor

LinkedIn for Good
– Present (3 years 6 months)

We believe we have a unique opportunity to leverage what we do as a business — connect talent with opportunity at massive scale — to create unprecedented impact in the social sector. Our vision is to connect every one of our members and employees with opportunities for social impact, and in so doing to create value for both professionals and the social sector.

The LinkedIn For Good (LIFG) mission is to connect our employees and members with opportunities to use their skills to make a positive impact on the world.

LIFG programs support our employees, our members, and the nonprofit community.

Opportunities Erika is looking for:

Causes Erika cares about:

  • Children
  • Civil Rights and Social Action
  • Economic Empowerment
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Human Rights
  • Science and Technology
  • Privacy

Organizations Erika supports:

  • Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
  • Girl Scouts of Northern California
  • OneJustice


  • Cyberlaw
  • Privacy Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Legal Compliance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation
  • Employment Law
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate Governance
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Mergers
  • M&A
  • International
  • Negotiation
  • Securities Regulation
  • Arrangements
  • Legal Advice
  • Joint Ventures
  • Strategy
  • IPO
  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Public Policy
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Private Equity
  • Patent Litigation
  • Mediation
  • Start-ups
  • Legal Writing
  • Business Strategy
  • Data Privacy
  • Copyright Law
  • Due Diligence
  • Acquisitions
  • Cycling
  • Venture Capital
  • Legal Research
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • See 23+  See less


University of California, Berkeley - Boalt Hall School of Law

JD, Law

-Rottenberg, Erika F., The Americans with Disabilities Act: Erosion of Collective Rights? Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Vol. 14 No. 1, p. 179 (1993); California Bar Labor and Employment Section Writing Competition Second Place
-American Jurisprudence Award: Civil Procedure
-Who’s Who of American Law Students

Activities and Societies: Chair, Moot Court Executive Board Associate Editor, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law ABA Client Counseling Competition: Third Place, Western Region Teaching Assistant, First Year Criminal Law

University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law


Academic Awards:
-Class Rank: 1st
-Dean’s List; Amicus Lex Scholar; One-L Academic Achievement Award; Verne Adrian and Annabell McGeorge Academic Achievement Award
-American Jurisprudence Awards: Legal Writing/Research; Agency

Activities and Societies: Student Bar Association (Elected Class Representative); Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) Team Leader

University of Alaska Anchorage

Public School Administration

Fascinated by prospect of improving education -- the key to our future success. Took classes for my Masters in Public School Administration but didn't complete degree as embarked on my legal education. Perhaps one day, as teaching the future of tomorrow remains one of the most important careers......

State University of New York College at Geneseo

BS, Special & Elementary Education/Music & Psychology

-Summa Cum Laude
-President, New York State Student Chapter Council for Exceptional Children
-Geneseo Emergency Squad
-Geneseo Alumni Award Scholardship

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