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Boyd Johnson
Boyd Johnson

In-House Counsel 2020: Boyd Johnson

At Minneapolis-based SPS Commerce Inc., Boyd Johnson is a unique general counsel in the world of multinational public companies.

With just himself, a part-time attorney contractor and a legal intern, Johnson is demonstrating you can lead an in-house legal department without a large group of attorneys.

“I am not aware of any other publicly traded company of this size that has a general counsel that is able to support the entire global organization with only two full-time attorneys,” said  Jonathan Zimmerman, an attorney at Faegre Baker Daniels who is familiar with Johnson. With 1,500 employees and $308 million in revenue projected for 2020, SPS today is more than triple the size it was in 2012, when Johnson joined the company.

SPS Commerce is a leading retail network connecting global trading partners to maximize their supply chain operations. The company processes about 2,800 sales contracts per month, productivity that Johnson credits to building a strong relationship with SPS’s sales force.

“I spend a lot of time educating our sales team about our contract terms and conditions and redrafting our forms so they are at our ending position,” Johnson said. “They get to see that I know the business.”

Besides overseeing a plethora of sales contracts each month, Johnson has shepherded nine corporate acquisitions for SPS Commerce, including its purchases of Mapadoc in 2019 and EDIAdmin in 2018.

Before joining SPS Commerce, Johnson was, among other things, chief legal officer at Merrill Corp., principal attorney at MTS Systems Corp. and general counsel at Xiotech Corp.  Johnson’s resume also includes being a law clerk at Mesaba Aviation. Before joining the legal profession, he was a commercial pilot.

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