the nine Pactiv operating facilities that are covered
by collective-bargaining agreements. The contracts
periodically come up for renegotiation. A union-cer-tification campaign is under way at a Pactiv plant in
Doyle believes that an essential role of a general
Tenneco and has participated in at least 10 acqui-
sitions since then.
International law “is more different than I would have
thought. China, especially, is its own world.”
ROUTE TO THE TOP
Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal was Doyle’s first
career stop after law school. He practiced at the
New York-based firm from 1985 to 1989, then joined
a former partner in a startup venture capital firm.
His next move was to Chicago’s Jenner & Block
for an 11-year stint, followed by six years at Mayer
Doyle became Pactiv’s general counsel in 2007,
having worked extensively with the company as outside counsel since the mid-1990s.
counsel is to be a good business partner—“not to
be viewed as an outsider or an impediment. It is
important who we choose to work with, and that they
understand our business and view it as a business,
not a law school exam question.”
Doyle collaborates with the human resources
department to monitor Pactiv’s diversity efforts and
those of its outside vendors. He considers firms’
track records on that score when hiring. All members
of his team perform pro bono work, mostly for local
law-related groups. In fact, pro bono is treated as
part of the attorneys’ jobs.
purchase of PWP Industries Inc. both were handled
in-house as well.
REGULATION AND SARBANES-OXLEY
As a public company, Pactiv routinely works with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Acquisitions are carried out under the auspices of the U.S.
Federal Trade Commission. Given its use of materials
such as polypropylene and polystyrene, “there are
occasional routine regulatory actions regarding the
environmental side,” Doyle said. Technology including odor-neutralization processes also may engender
As for Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance, “We now have
better systems in place, so we don’t need to spend
as much time, money and energy” adhering to the
Doyle is a native of Elgin, Ill. He and his wife,
Nancy, a former teacher, are the parents of Sara,
Kate and Kevin. Skiing, running and bicycling are
He leads Pactiv’s team during Cowalunga, a three-day, 200-mile bicycle trek organized to raise money
for respiratory health in the metropolitan Chicago
Doyle graduated in 1981 from the University of
Illinois. He received his law degree in 1985 from the
University of Minnesota Law School.
A BOOK AND MOVIE
The Steel Wave: A Novel of World War II, by Jeff
Shaara, and Farewell.
“I have worked on all the big and little deals that
have made up Pactiv since 1995,” Doyle said. He
helped orchestrate the company’s spinoff from
An earlier version of this profile appeared in The
National Law Journal on Sept. 6, 2010.