The Compliance Life details the journey to and in the role of a Chief Compliance Officer. How does one come to sit in the CCO chair? What are some of the skills a CCO needs to success navigate the compliance waters in any company? What are some of the top challenges CCOs have faced and how did they meet them? These questions and many others will be explored in this new podcast series. Over four episodes each month on The Compliance Life, I visit with one current or former CCO to explore their journey to the CCO chair. This month, my guest is Kim Yapchai, the Chief Counsel – Environmental, Social & Governance at Tenneco Inc.  This role encompasses both compliance and sustainability.

Kim calls herself a “businessperson with a law degree” and she has had a distinguished career in the in-house world. She held in-house positions at Ford Motor Credit Company and Masco before moving to Whirlpool to become the company’s first Chief Compliance Officer. From there she moved to Tenneco to the CCO chair and then into her current role. Further, she is the company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer. In this role, she is working to improve transparency of information shared with stakeholders, set goals, and promote the use of that information by investors, customers, and others. Kim has received numerous awards include the prestigious Top Minds in Compliance Award from Compliance Week.

In this first episode, we consider Kim’s undergraduate degree in economics and how this informed her decision that led her down the path to the CCO chair. She sees compliance as practicing preventative law. Kim went in-house straight out of law school and began her career as a part of the business team. She discusses some of the leadership lessons she learned from CEOs she has worked with in her career.