We are proud to announce that Red Hat's executive vice president and general counsel Michael Cunningham is one of the recipients of the Triangle Business Journal's 2015 Counsel of the Year Awards.
Each year, the Triangle Business Journal identifies a select few in-house attorneys who, in the words of the publication, “keep the business world running.” Each recipient is also a business and philanthropic leader in North Carolina's Research Triangle area.
Michael was recognized for his extensive and varied work at Red Hat. Michael and his team are responsible for managing corporate, legal, intellectual property development and protection, commercial transactions, regulatory issues, compliance and ethics, equity, government affairs, and more. He has sponsored Red Hat legal's contributions to important U.S. Supreme Court cases, and balances the need for a strong patent portfolio with remaining true to Red Hat's mission to provide innovative software that is literally open to everyone. On any given day, Michael may be found hammering out the final terms of a financial transaction, negotiating a strategic collaboration with an industry partner, or developing an implementation plan for new SEC regulations.
Michael has also made significant contributions to the business and open source software communities in general. He's a leader in addressing the threats posed to business innovation by “patent trolls” (firms that own patents but no actual products, and make money through litigation). He has actively developed governance resources for public and private Triangle-area companies. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Open Invention Network, a community of software companies and other organizations committed to protecting Linux and creating an environment that supports open source software innovations.
Michael actively supports many Research Triangle-area businesses and associations. He serves as vice chairman of the board of directors for the Research Triangle chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors. Michael has organized a number of programs to leverage the pool and executive talent in the area to benefit the region's business community. He has also been involved in projects for non-profit efforts Habitat for Humanity and Stop Hunger Now.
Congratulations to Michael on this well-deserved recognition!