Super Lawyers Business Edition: Millie Chou keeps the teams at Zappos.com working and playing hard

US-2012-The-Shoe-Fits-Millie-Chou-large.jpg
Photo: Dustin Snipes

In this year's Super Lawyers Business Edition (available now as a digital edition, via app and in print), we put a spotlight the GC of the Nevada-based Zappos.com-Millie Chou. She first helped run the investment fund for Zappos during its inception, returning to the company in 2006 and getting the top legal job in the company in 2008.

Zappos is well-known for its distinctive culture, and the company placed sixth on Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list in 2011. Its Family Core Values feature items like "Create Fun and A Little Weirdness" and "Deliver WOW Through Service," and the company offers every trainee $2,000 to simply quit and walk away-more than 97 percent will stay. The company has grown quickly, reaching a goal of $1 billion in sales by 2010 (set by CEO Tony Hsieh more than 10 years ago) two years early, and morphing from a seven employees to more than 3,000. In 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon.

"Millie's role often comes with an additional layer of challenges because of our unique culture," [says] Pam Tidmore, vice president of customer loyalty in human resources. "Besides all the traits you'd expect a lawyer to possess ... Millie has built excellent relationships across the company, so she intuitively understands challenges when people have requested or needed her guidance. She understands and appreciates the distinctive ingredients that have made Zappos so special."

Read more about Chou's handling of the security breach, and why speech and debate led her to a legal career, online or in our digital mag.