June 6, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 157


Roderick D. Gillum

Roderick D. Gillum is a principal in the Detroit, Michigan, office of Jackson Lewis P.C and co-leader of the firm’s Automotive industry group. His practice concentrates on corporate strategies related to crisis management, labor relations, and legal risk avoidance, including managing strategic labor and personnel planning in the context of workforce restructurings, class actions, and corporate reorganizations.

Rod has earned a national reputation for corporate diversity and public interest initiatives. His unique array of legal, crisis management, and corporate governance and compliance experience has engendered the trust of company leaders, judges, politicians and attorneys as an effective, thoughtful and creative problem solver. Rod utilizes these skills in his roles as a facilitator (court appointed and privately engaged), diversity strategist, and as the lead person on sensitive internal corporate legal compliance/harassment investigations for a wide range of clients, including healthcare, manufacturing, banking, utilities and service sector companies.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Rod was a senior member of the General Motors Company (GM) Legal Staff, where he rose to become Secretary to the GM Board of Directors, and, later, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility & Diversity. Rod's responsibilities included corporate social responsibility initiatives, philanthropic programs, business ethics, community relations, sustainability, diversity management and related communication activities.  As a co-leader of the Public Policy Center, based in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, Rod developed and coordinated global policy positions on safety, trade and government relations. 

Previously, Rod was the Chief Personnel, Benefits and Labor attorney at GM’s Legal Staff, where he was responsible for all personnel, health care, benefit plans, labor relations and workers’ compensation legal matters. In this role, he coordinated a successful defense to the largest employee benefit case in U.S. history (Sprague vs. GM - U.S. Supreme Court review denied, 1998).

Prior to his role as Chief Personnel, Benefits and Labor attorney, Rod was Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for GM’s Saturn Corporation, where he helped to create proactive litigation avoidance strategies for potential product liability claims; as well as to develop and defend unprecedented labor-management cooperative strategies, among his other duties. Before joining GM, Rod was an Attorney with Region 7 (Detroit, MI) of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), where he was responsible for the handling, conducting hearings and resolution of representation petitions and litigating unfair labor practice charges.  

Articles in the National Law Review database by Roderick D. Gillum