The 2015 Executive Excellence Awards: Don Rench


Don Rench

Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Outerwall

Fourteen years at Outerwall hasn’t given Don Rench any chance to get into a rut. When he joined the company, it was a startup called Coinstar and the legal work focused largely on patents related to its coin-counting kiosks. When the company launched its Redbox video rentals, his effort shifted to contracts and partnerships. A wave of acquisitions brought new regulatory work, followed by a round of divestments.
“Each year, I can say, ‘Oh, I got to do this!’” he says happily. “It’s almost like it’s been working for three of four different companies.”

Rench provides a steady rudder through each business sea change, looking around corners for risks, supporting management’s strategic vision. “They have to understand what that continuum of risk looks like to make the best decisions,” he explains.

Even through changes of CEOs and strategies, Outerwall has remained a place where Rench and his department are seen as adding value to the business through their advice. “I’m glad we’re not just a ‘check the box and talk to legal’ kind of place,” he says.

As for the future, Rench says, “You have to go in to work with an open mind every day, expecting something new to learn. That’s kind of what the practice of law is.” 

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