If you were going to pick your first day as a beer company’s chief legal officer, it probably wouldn’t be March 1, 2018. But it was Lee Reichert’s first day as Molson Coors’ chief legal and corporate affairs officer, to which he was promoted after his predecessor, Sam Walker, was appointed executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Reichert came to find his role would be less legal, however, and more corporate affairs — including oversight of the beer giant’s lobbying and public policy operations.
The public policy role would come into play on March 1, when President Donald Trump announced his aluminum and steel tariffs. Reichert happened to be in Washington, D.C., luckily, where he could immediately meet with the company’s government relations staff as well as several regulators to discuss the impact of the new trade policy on kegs and canning costs.
With a company the size of Molson Coors, which has 17,000 employees and a $13 billion global market cap, there’s still much to learn about its operations even after you’ve helped lead its legal affairs for seven years.