Yen Chu has over 25 years of brand and consumer-facing experience and a deep understanding of corporate governance, Board and Committee fiduciary duties and requirements, investor/shareholder concerns, and ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations. She has worked directly with Boards and executive teams on CEO and executive leadership transitions, launching new ventures and digital businesses, international expansion, reorganizations, and crisis management strategies.
Ms. Chu is currently Chief Legal Officer of Equinox Group, a global integrated fitness, wellness, and hospitality company, with a portfolio of brands including Equinox Fitness Clubs, Equinox Hotels, SoulCycle, Blink Fitness, and Equinox Media (a multi-brand digital platform under Equinox+). Overseeing legal, ESG, government affairs, and community relations, she has led Equinox’s innovation and growth with the launch of new ventures and businesses, including the first Equinox Hotels, Equinox+ digital wellness platform, and Wollman Park Partners (a joint venture with the Harris Blitzer Group, Related Co. and community partners such as the YMCA to operate NYC’s Central Park). She serves on the executive leadership team with responsibility for the company’s strategic objectives and is the Executive Sponsor for Equinox’s Equality + Belonging Leadership Council.
Prior to joining Equinox, Ms. Chu spent 11 years in various roles of leadership, advising the Board of Directors and executive team of Ralph Lauren Corporation, a fortune 500 global company specializing in apparel, home, and accessories. She worked closely with the Board and the executive team on public company governance, CEO succession planning, executive compensation, reorganizations, crisis management, and corporate social responsibility matters, including leading efforts to implement Ralph Lauren’s first CSR report. After obtaining the SEC and DOJ’s unprecedented non-prosecution agreements involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, she designed and monitored Ralph Lauren’s global regulatory compliance, anti-bribery, and ethics programs. In addition, she had global responsibilities where she led corporate transactions, including acquisitions of license businesses in Japan and Panama, and oversaw a portfolio of international licensing, trade/customs, sourcing, and supply chain arrangements.
Ms. Chu spent almost a decade at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP where she executed complex corporate 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.
Most recently, Ms. Chu has been the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award, the 2020 Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) Women’s Leadership Award, and the 2019 Women Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) Thought Leadership Award.
She is a graduate of Columbia Law School where she was the national Justice Harry A. Blackmun Scholar. She earned her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude in International Relations, at the University of Minnesota. She currently serves on the Boards of DirectWomen and the Columbia Law School Association. She is a native speaker of Vietnamese.