Ex-Facebook Legal Chief Stretch Jumps to Etsy as New Top Lawyer

Etsy Inc. has hired former Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch to be its new chief legal officer as of Feb. 14, the company announced Thursday.

Stretch, who stepped down in 2019 as the top lawyer at Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms Inc., will take over a top legal role at Etsy.

Latham & Watkins hired Stretch in an of counsel role last year for its corporate practice in Washington. He declined through an Etsy spokeswoman to discuss his decision to return to the C-suite.

He replaces Jill Simeone, who Etsy hired as its top lawyer in 2017. The company said Simeone has moved to an advisory role to spend more time with her family. She will continue to support Etsy’s legal function and help Stretch as he transitions into his new role, the company said.

Brooklyn, NY-based Etsy has watched its stock price surpass other e-commerce companies in recent months.

“Colin’s extensive experience will be critical to Etsy’s efforts to ensure we remain a safe and trusted marketplace, broaden our reach across all our brands, and advocate for microbusinesses around the world,” CEO Josh Silverman said in a statement.

The company last year faced complaints from merchants about price increases for offering goods on its platform. Silverman publicly defended the hike in transaction fees, which he said the company used to reinvest in its business.

Stretch, who once clerked for former US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, joined Facebook as a deputy general counsel in 2010 after working as a partner at Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick in Washington.

The social media giant promoted him in 2013 to general counsel as a successor to Theodore Ullyot, a former partner at Kirkland & Ellis.

In mid-2018, Stretch announced plans to leave Facebook but ended up postponing his exit from the company for more than a year as it coped with a variety of legal and regulatory issues. He eventually left in late 2019 after Facebook hired former Davis Polk & Wardwell partner Jennifer Newstead as its law department leader.

Stretch’s compensation at Etsy wasn’t immediately available. The company didn’t make Simeone, its former top lawyer, one of its five highest-paid executives during fiscal 2021. Etsy tapped deputy general counsel for product and commercial Estela Valdez to succeed Simeone on an interim basis after she stepped down in October.

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