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In-House Counsel: Mark Kimball

As an attorney in private practice, Mark Kimball spent years assisting Select Comfort Corp. with private financing rounds and an initial public offering before joining the company as in-house counsel in 1999.
“When you are outside counsel, you’re not as fully involved in strategy or business decisions,” said Kimball, who had been at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP. “Being in-house involves much more than just a legal role. And I like the company’s product and mission.”
Today Select Comfort is called Sleep Number and the company continues to grow more than a decade after a near-death experience when “the housing bubble burst.” The management team avoided being acquired, one of Kimball’s proudest achievements. “It was really rewarding to be part of a team that pulled the company out of that situation,” he said.
Much of his time involved battles over trademark and patent infringement by companies that tried to duplicate its unique adjustable bed technology. “We’re a leader in the mattress industry, so we’ve had a lot of people trying to copy us,” Kimball said. “We spent a lot of time and effort to protect our intellectual property and our brand.”
Kimball recently retired from his roles as senior vice president, chief legal and risk officer and secretary of Sleep Number. He’s looking forward in retirement to continuing to serve on the board of Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, golfing, skiing and spending time with his wife and three grown sons.

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