John Ellsworth is a global Senior Business Executive and General Counsel with deep experience in negotiations, complex transactions, mergers & acquisitions, compliance and governance, human resources and finance. His strategic development and implementation through experienced leadership of both small and large divisions have made him an invaluable partner with fellow executive leaders in commercial, regulatory and technology environments. He is valued for leading crisis management and internal investigations, establishing legal functions in Europe and Latin America, and developing and implementing strategies that have led to profitable revenue growth.
At ScanSource, Inc., a $3.7 billion international distributor/technology solution provider located in more than 15 countries, John was Executive Vice President for several years after joining the company as General Counsel and building the legal function from one paralegal into a first-class global legal and compliance team of 15 professionals in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. He also served as the company’s Corporate Secretary. As a Member of the Executive Team, John was an Advisor to the CEO and Board of Directors in the development and execution of strategic plans. He successfully closed 15 domestic and foreign M&A transactions, and was a key contributor in the company’s drive to create superior enterprise value, growth alternatives, investment strategies and resource deployment. John oversaw Global Risk Management, led the global Real Estate function, oversaw corporate policy in response to regulations, and developed and monitored corporate governance and executive compensation.
As ScanSource’s Chief Legal Officer, John was responsible for global legal matters and representation, providing legal services for domestic and foreign trade regulations and complex cross-border commercial transactions to support operations and local management in 15 countries for 42 offices and six distribution centers. He established and developed a globally integrated team, and managed litigation/inquiries from third parties and regulators. He implemented a global ethics compliance program.
Earlier, as Assistant General Counsel for One Price Clothing Stores, Inc., a publicly held chain of retail stores that offered apparel and accessories for women and children, with more than 5,000 employees in 33 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, John was responsible for contracts, human resources, litigation, real estate, intellectual property, finance, merchandising, information technology and compliance with federal regulatory agencies, such as the FTC and U.S. Customs. He began his career with a Judicial Clerkship for the Honorable Bruce R. Douglas, District Court Judge, Buffalo, MN.
John earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Minnesota Law School in Minneapolis, where he was on the Dean’s List “A” Honor Role, Third Year at Top-Twenty Law School and Phillip C. Jessup International Moot Court. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Communication Arts/Public Address from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He is a member of the Minnesota and South Carolina State Bars, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the American Bar Association and the Association of Corporate Governance Professionals. Since September 2017, John has served as M&A Advisor/Affiliate to a firm based in Atlanta, GA, advising business owners/buyers on investment and acquisition alternatives, including targeted acquisition service, private equity deal sourcing and direct investing. He also has volunteered his time with the Child Development Center in Spartanburg, SC, Donors Choose Sponsor of Special Needs Education.
John is a native of Minnesota – but a loyal Wisconsin Badger fan. John’s favorite role is being Dad to his three sons, Jack, Conrad and Jameson. Every weekend is a boys’ weekend, and with three sons, there is always something to do and something they have broken.
- Licensed attorney and member of Minnesota State Bar
- Licensed attorney and member of South Carolina State Bar
- American Bar Association (ABA)
- Association of Corporate Counsel (ACCA)
- Association of Corporate Governance Professionals
- University of Minnesota Law School — JD, Corporate Law, 1999
- University of Wisconsin-Madison — BA, Political Science and Communication
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In all my years advising public companies, I have learned this one lesson above all else: The toughest challenges create the greatest opportunities for growth. As General Counsel of ScanSource, a leading global technology solutions provider, I witnessed the ups, downs...