Michael C. Carter

Owner and Webmaster at G&C Web Design

Wrong Michael Carter?

Last Updated 12/15/2016

General Information

Employment History

Vice President, General Counsel  - Minority Corporate Counsel Association

Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary  - Castle & Cooke, Inc.

Information Technology Technician  - Lignum Associates Ltd


Board Member  - Concurrent Computer Corporation

Web References  

G&C Web Design | Website Design for the Small Business | About Us

Michael Carter
Webmaster Michael is the webmaster and as such is responsible for the websites once they're out of the door, taking care of any alterations and/or aftercare required by the customer. He assists Sarah with the primary website development, specialising in template-driven websites. He is also the company's Project Manager and keeps G&C Web Design on track and on time.

Read More
Being GC at Dole: Not a Doleful Position

Michael Carter, GC of Dole FoodsAs a young man in his 20s, C. Michael Carter did quite well managing his family's businesses, including a historic New Orleans nightclub, a semi-professional baseball team and a construction company. After a real estate attorney bungled a transaction, Carter decided he would enroll in law school to steep himself in the knowledge of law and enhance his capabilities as an entrepreneur."I had no intention of being a lawyer," says Carter, who's now general counsel at Dole Food Co. in Westlake Village, Calif. "That is not why I did it.I went, basically, to get more ammo." By the time he had earned his diploma from George Washington University Law School in 1973, Carter was hardly your typical wet-behind-the-ears law school graduate.Instead, he was a 30-year-old African-American with a business degree from U.C. Berkeley and several years of real-life business experience to go along with his law degree.Carter found himself entertaining offers for tax law and audit positions from such companies as Ernst & Ernst and Arthur Young. Instead, Carter accepted an offer from the prestigious New York law firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts (which is now known as Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman), setting on a career path that would take him from the west bank of New Orleans' Jefferson Parish to a buttoned-down Wall Street firm and, from there, to a series of general counsel positions at The Singer Co., Concurrent Computer Corp., RJR Nabisco Inc. and Pinkerton's Inc. Carter, who still has family in New Orleans, now lives in Malibu and is a member of the senior management team at Dole, where his office overlooks a huge, man-made waterfall that is part of the company's lush, Edenesque headquarters.He applies the same entrepreneurial zeal and high energy at Dole that has fueled a career trajectory, including those GC stints at five other public companies. And it all started with his Aunt Cecile. "I come from a family of entrepreneurs," says Carter."One of the family members was my father's sister, who was involved in a number of small businesses in New Orleans."The family owned coin-operated vending machines, juke boxes, rental properties, a construction company, a semi-pro baseball team and a chain-link fence installation."Whatever you could get your hands on and make some money" is how he describes the family's business strategy. Carter, a New Orleans native, moved with his immediate family to the Los Angeles area when he was 9 to escape the segregated South.However, he spent summers back in New Orleans during his college years and continued to work in the various family businesses there until his Wall Street legal career took over. The Rockhouse, one of two nightclubs the family owned in New Orleans, was located in Jefferson Parish and was where Fats Domino performed early in his career.The nightclub was sold and leveled years ago. Carter says he can't recall other famous musicians who frequented the family's hotspot in the heart of the Big Easy, which perhaps speaks to his emphasis on paying more attention to the management of business affairs and less attention to what others are doing."I tend to take ownership of things and drive them to closure instead of passing the buck or blaming other people," he says. Since joining Dole five years ago, Carter has applied this same philosophy in honing his in-house team of attorneys while reducing expenses for outside counsel.Dole was spending about $16 million per year on outside counsel when he arrived in 2000.He's since trimmed that amount to somewhere between $10 million and $11 million.Carter says he expects that figure to start rising again simply because the company is larger now than it was five years ago. Each of Dole's six in-house attorneys who work in Westlake Village wears two hats: division general counsel for the various operating units for the company's flower, fruit, packaged food, vegetable and other divisions; and as an attorney with a particular expertise, such as employee labor law, intellectual property and mergers and acquisitions.The company employs another 18 in-house lawyers, all of whom report directly to Carter, posted in Honduras, Chile, Colombia, Japan, France, South Africa, Ecuador, Costa Rica and the Philippines. The son of a navy veteran, Carter speaks with precision and the assured tones of someone clearly in command -- qualities that prompted John Stihl, chief executive officer of Concurrent Computer Corp. and a former two-star Air Force general, to remark that Carter would have made a great general himself. The son of a navy veteran, Carter speaks with precision and the assured tones of someone clearly in command -- qualities that prompted John Stihl, chief executive officer of Concurrent Computer Corp. and a former two-star Air Force general, to remark that Carter would have made a great general himself. "I think I've always been a perfectionist," says Carter, scraping imaginary dust from his immaculate glass-topped office desk."I've always had high expectations.And I will push myself in terms of believing that anything is possible.If you recognize the two dimensions -- taking full accountability for your own failings on one hand and having an 'anything is possible' attitude, you can probably get a better feel for where I'm coming from." James Fox, deputy general counsel at Securitas Security Services USA Inc., who worked with Carter at Pinkerton's, says Carter made his expectations explicit, provided his attorneys with what they needed to work and then got out of their way."When you get an order [from Carter], you execute," says Fox, who, as the son of a former Marine, immediately recognized Carter's disciplined, orderly approach."When you get an order [from Carter], you execute," says Fox, who, as the son of a former Marine, immediately recognized Carter's disciplined, orderly approach.Fox says Carter quickly corrected his misconception that in-house attorneys had a slightly easier time of it than attorneys at a law firm who were constantly under pressure to rack up billable hours."The impression that I had of in-house lawyers was destroyed pretty quickly as a result of working for Michael," recalls Fox.When Carter took over the top legal spot at Dole, he drove home to the other in-house attorneys his desire for accountability and a renewed emphasis on approaching legal matters with both eyes sharply focused on the corporate bottom line."The role I envision for myself and everyone else in a function as an in-house lawyer is the role as a businessman," he says."You have to be a businessman.Anyone who works for me understands that." Indeed, Carter expects everyone in his department to be an integral part of the company's business team and to understand the financial dimensions of any potential legal outcome arising from a company-related transaction."In any particular matter, their largest role isn't to simply document or memorialize a transaction or just to dot the i's and cross the t's," says Carter."They need to know what the operating group wants to accomplish and structure something to achieve that, which requires that they understand the business context and construct something that makes sense from that kind of orientation." He's aware that such an approach cuts against the grain in terms of how lawyers typically are trained, which includes the ability to argue either side of a position.But as an in-house lawyer, he adds, "you're trying to step back and make the right decision and do the right thing for the company.But Carter insists that the legal department maintain "ownership" and control over every matter that is referred to outside attorneys. Carter is so insistent on retaining control that he'll sometimes handle matters himself.In some cases, that means traveling on a moment's notice across the country or around the globe.During one two-month period, in addition to other business travel he flew to Europe on four separate occasions to handle some antitrust litigation."I like to get right on top of a problem so I'm not in a reacting mode," he says."I always invest the time and energy to meet my adversary, whether it's a government or opposing counsel, so I can take immediate corrective action and be affirmative." When he does hire outside counsel, Carter makes it very clear that he's choosing an individual lawyer rather than an overall firm."I want to see if they're a good match for me," he says."Are they practical.Do they know what they're doing?Can they be cost-effective in helping me achieve my goal?" Carter relies on Jones Day, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and O'Melveny & Myers for litigation and transactions work.Other litigation matters are handled by

Read More
Dole's letter to Swedish parliament members | BANANAS!*

Following a press release about the meeting, Michael Carter, Executive Vice President of Dole, sent a letter to Johansson and Astudillo.
In the letter, Carter provides Dole's perspective on BANANAS!* and "a more complete understanding, given the October 1 screening".

Read More

Browse ZoomInfo’s Directories