Yen D. Chu
Class of 2018
Yen D. Chu is a seasoned executive with extensive brand and consumer-facing experience and a deep understanding of corporate governance, Board and Committee fiduciary duties and requirements, investor/shareholder concerns, and executive compensation trends. She has worked directly with Boards and executive teams on CEO and executive leadership transitions, launching new ventures and digital businesses, international expansion, reorganizations, crisis management strategies, and corporate social responsibility matters.
Ms. Chu is currently Chief Legal Officer of Equinox Holdings, Inc., a global integrated fitness, wellness, and hospitality company, with a portfolio of brands/business interests in Equinox, Equinox Hotels, SoulCycle, Blink Fitness, and Equinox Media. Within its portfolio of brands, Equinox has over 260 global locations and over 15,000 employees. She has led business innovation and growth with the launch of new ventures and businesses, including Equinox Hotels (opened in Hudson Yards NYC in 2019, with subsequent hotels to open in major metropolitan areas), Equinox Media (a newly announced multi-brand digital wellness platform), co-working spaces with Industrious, an internal talent agency of influencers, and Equinox Explore (a travel/retreats wellness venture). In addition to developing legal and regulatory strategy for Equinox, Ms. Chu also serves on Equinox’s executive leadership team with responsibility for the company’s strategic objectives, crisis management, and risk assessment.
Prior to joining Equinox, from 2006-2017, Ms. Chu was a key member of the senior leadership team and advisor to the Board of Directors of Ralph Lauren Corporation, a fortune 500 global company specializing in apparel, home, accessories, and fragrance products, with annual revenues exceeding $7 billion and approximately 23,000 employees in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. As Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel, she had responsibility for the development of Board materials and worked closely with the Board and the executive team on CEO succession planning, executive compensation, reorganizations, crisis management strategies, and corporate social responsibility matters, including leading efforts to implement the Company’s first CSR report. Ms. Chu also designed and monitored Ralph Lauren’s global compliance and ethics policies and programs, including the Company’s anti-bribery program, after obtaining the SEC and DOJ’s first non-prosecution agreements related to this matter. She also led global financing and corporate transactions, including acquisitions of license businesses in Japan and Panama. In addition, she advised on international trade/customs and global consumer product safety compliance to achieve global supply chain and manufacturing/sourcing objectives and she oversaw negotiations and maintenance of a portfolio of international licensing arrangements.
Ms. Chu spent almost a decade as a corporate attorney at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP where she executed complex transactions for private equity firms, investment banks, and public and private companies in a variety of sectors including entertainment/media, reinsurance, and healthcare. She developed extensive capital markets experience, focusing on IPOs, acquisition financings, secondary offerings, and debt transactions, both investment grade and high yield.
She is a champion of diversity and inclusion who dedicates her time and voice to multiple organizations that focuses on advancing and empowering women, people of color, first generation students, and other underrepresented groups, particularly in the legal profession. Ms. Chu is a graduate of Columbia Law School where she was the national Justice Harry A. Blackmun Scholar. She is currently a Board member of the Columbia Law School Association. She earned her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude in International Relations, at the University of Minnesota.