described this as an exciting time, despite the
hardships. “There are both great challenges and
opportunities,” he said, particularly in Asia. The company has been targeting markets in Asia and Europe
as the U.S. auto industry has declined. Volkswagen
A.G. is its biggest customer, and Gasparovic anticipates that as much as 20% of Borg Warner’s new
business will come from Asia.
Beyond the usual Sarbanes-Oxley oversight, the
department monitors compliance with auto industry
regulators and answers to the U.S. Securities and
for a company of its size, although its massive intel-
lectual property portfolio has occasioned disputes
from time to time, Gasparovic said. The company
bas been caught up in environmental litigation, too,
although according to Gasparovic these cases mostly
related to industrial contamination at facilities the
company inherited through acquisitions. Claims
against product warranties occasionally crop up.
Compared to companies producing items like tires,
Borg Warner sees relatively little products liability
litigation, Gasparovic said.
1990, he joined Guardian Industries Corp., where he
served in the automotive division as vice president
for business development and general counsel. He
moved to Roadway Corp. 10 years later, then transferred to Federal Mogul Corp.
He started as general counsel at BorgWarner in
There are both great challenges and opportunities.”
Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service and
New York Stock Exchange. BorgWarner’s European
general counsel is responsible for the day-to-day legal
activities abroad, but Gasparovic keeps up with laws
and procedures outside the United States.
Gasparovic described the automotive industry as
“a slow growth, old one, but with lots in the intellectual property area.” BorgWarner owns 2,800 active
patents, pending applications or patents under
preparation. It maintains a patent department in the
United States and an agent in Germany to protect
its intellectual property there.
The company enjoys a long-standing relationship
with the Indianapolis 500 automobile race. Since
1936, it has sponsored the trophies awarded to
victorious drivers and teams. The legal department
helps with some of the attendant licensing agreements. BorgWarner operates a production site in
Ithaca, N.Y., that is affiliated with the International
Brotherhood of Teamsters, and Gasparovic participates in contract negotiations with the union. He
also works on various technical agreements.
Gasparovic is a native of Detroit. He is married to
Nancy Gasparovic, a financial analyst turned homemaker. They are the parents of John and Andrew.
Gasparovic’s main hobby is golf, and he has developed a strong interest in Mexican history and culture.
He graduated from Wayne State University in 1979
and obtained his Juris Doctor in 1982 from Northwestern University School of Law.
He counts as his career highlight helping to transform the law departments of three corporations into
business partners with the actual business units,
while upholding the oversight and compliance functions. Getting to know the businesses really well, he
added, “is the most fun.”
Borg Warner participates in relatively little litigation
ROUTE TO PRESENT POSITION
Gasparovic’s road to BorgWarner began in Cleveland, where he spent eight years as a litigator at the
firm then known as Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. In
TWO BOOKS AND A MOVIE
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson,
and Mexico: Biography of Power—A History of Modern
Mexico, by Enrique Krauze; and Gran Torino.
This profile appeared in The National Law Journal
on Oct. 26, 2009.