Christopher Garcia’s long tenure with Dell Technologies has taken him to iconic cities also recognized as the food capitals of the world. To remember his experiences and accomplishments, he just needs to think back to the regional delicacies that mark each era.
There were the breakfast tacos in Austin, the chili crab in Singapore, the sourdough in San Francisco, and the lobster rolls in Boston. “I feel very fortunate to have spent most of my life in dynamic, thriving legal and technology communities,” he says.
Each stop on Garcia’s professional journey contributed to his development. Combined, they’ve led to his current role as senior vice president at Dell, heading a global corporate legal team informing the legal strategy for a workforce across 180 different countries.
When Garcia started working at the iconic tech company in 2006, he lived in Austin, just 150 miles west of his hometown of Spring, Texas. Initially, as a commercial legal counsel, Garcia managed the integration of several acquisitions and provided ongoing legal support for Dell’s services business, as well as its emerging software-as-a-service portfolio. Unsure of how long he would stay, supportive mentors and a strong culture quickly won him over.
“I wanted to be here as long as I continued to learn and improve,” he says. Garcia came to Dell for the chance to practice law among the best in-house attorneys in the world. He stayed because of the company’s culture.
Dell garnered the reputation for providing professional development opportunities and prioritizing mentoring for employees at every level. This is a hallmark of the Dell legal department, led by Rich Rothberg, who held leadership roles across Europe, Asia, and North America before serving as Dell’s general counsel responsible for its global legal, government affairs, and security organizations.
This environment helped Garcia thrive as he progressed through consecutive, three-to-five-year assignments in dramatically different legal roles around the world—ranging from technical roles supporting Dell’s cloud computing businesses to customer-centric roles supporting the global sales teams.
He served as an executive director in Singapore, overseeing the regional compliance and a lead legal counsel (based in Boston) to Dell’s North America enterprise business. There, he focused on strategic commercial transactions with Dell’s largest customers and software alliance partners.
Garcia also appreciates the company’s transparent approach to leadership and talent management. “You can’t be a jerk and succeed at Dell,” he says. Team members support one another and are expected to deliver and receive honest feedback.
Garcia’s efforts have made an impression on his colleagues outside the company. “Christopher displays remarkable energy and analytical agility in managing a wide range of legal functions,” observes Richard Parrino, a partner at Hogan Lovells. “He masters new material quickly and brings the same incisiveness and sure judgment to each matter.”
Currently, Garcia leads the global corporate legal team, which provides legal advice and strategy in support of public disclosures and corporate governance. His team also handles strategic transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, early-stage venture investments, and capital market transactions. The role is anchored by an effective global legal regulatory compliance program.
This work is informed by the five years he spent leading the global sales legal organization; that era gave him the chance to step out of the corporate office onto the front lines to work with customers. “Every decision I ever make at Dell will be informed by the conversations I had while working with customers,” he says.
Dell is focused on digital transformation, increasingly offering its technology as-a-service, versus the traditional model in which a customer buys the hardware along with a perpetual software license. This pivot in Dell’s approach also requires a new approach to legal contracts.
Dell’s legal department is simplifying the customer experience through contracts that are short, balanced, and easy to understand. The department has adopted a multiyear plan to enable its team members to leverage technology and tools that activate data-driven decisions.
The company’s sheer size presents challenges being addressed with scalable intelligent technology solutions. Dell operates in approximately 180 countries, and the legal team oversees hundreds of corporate entities supported by directors around the world. Instead of trying to provide live, one-on-one training for each director, Garcia partnered with Deloitte to create an intelligent directors’ portal.
The software-based solution uses business intelligence to track each director and create a custom page loaded with training videos, podcasts, data sheets, and information tailored to each jurisdiction. Legal managers view global dashboards to monitor compliance and highlight gaps, risks, and outcomes.
As Garcia progresses into bigger leadership roles, he remains keenly aware of the sacrifice his parents made to provide him educational opportunities. As a teenager, his father emigrated from Cuba in 1961 during the communist revolution and found employment in New York City as a bellhop at the Waldorf Astoria.
He worked all day, went to school at night, and helped to bring the rest of his family into the United States—like many other first-generation Americans. Every opportunity Garcia has had in his career is built upon the courage and sacrifice of his family; with this is mind, he does what he can to create opportunities for others.
After Girls on the Run (GOTR) positively impacted the life of his daughter, Camden, Garcia decided to help its local chapter raise money. The national nonprofit helps girls be “joyful, healthy, and confident” through an experience-based, running curriculum. Garcia volunteered to solicit funds, but there was one catch—he had to complete the 2021 Boston Marathon.
He managed to cross the finish line, and afterwards, wanted to find a way to help that wouldn’t require him to run 26.2 miles a second time. He since joined the board of the Boston chapter and helps guide the organization to meet its annual plan and secure long-term sustainability.
“Christopher is truly making an impact on the nonprofit growth plans of GOTR Greater Boston,” says Olivia Mathews, executive director of the chapter. “His corporate experience, alongside his authentic belief in GOTR’s power to spark healthy habits, translate into meaningful contributions to the organization.”
Looking ahead, Garcia wants to listen, learn, and empower his legal team to help Dell transform lives with extraordinary capabilities.