Stephen C. Neal is an American attorney currently serving as the chairman[1] and former chief executive officer (CEO) of Cooley LLP, and the chairman of the board of directors of Levi Strauss & Co.[2]


Neal graduated from Harvard University with an AB in 1970 and from Stanford Law School with a JD in 1973.[3]

In 1988, Neal successfully argued Grobow v. Perot, in which the Delaware Supreme Court upheld General Motors' buy-out of Ross Perot under the business judgment rule.[4]

Neal joined Cooley in 1995, having previously been a partner at Kirkland and Ellis in Chicago.[5] He was named chairman and CEO in 2001;[5] he stepped down as CEO in 2007, but continues to hold the chairman position.[6][7]

In 1998, Neal joined the board of trustees of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.[8] He became vice chairman in 2005 and chairman in 2013.[8]

In 2006 Stephen Neal was named by The National Law Journal as one of "The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America".[7] In September 2009, he was named in The Los Angeles Daily Journal's Top 100 Lawyers in California list.[9]

In 2006, Neal joined the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as a member of the board, and became its chairman in 2015.[10]

Neal joined the board of directors for Levi Strauss & Co. in 2007,[11] and was named chairman of the board in September 2011.[12]

Since 2021, he has served as chair of the Board of Trustees overseeing the Oversight Board of Meta, which oversees the activities of Facebook and Instagram.[13]


  1. ^ "Stephen Neal". Cooley. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "Executive Profile: Stephen C. Neal". Bloomberg LP. October 9, 2017. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "Stephen C. Neal".
  4. ^ Grobow v. Perot, 539 A.2d 180 (Del. 1988).
  5. ^ a b Lashinsky, Adam (May 27, 2002). "Silicon Valley: The Lawyers Got Screwed Too; Law firm Cooley Godward fattened up by demanding equity stakes in tech startups. Oops". Fortune. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  6. ^ Kanigher, Ashle y (November 8, 2007). "Cooley Godward Kronish Names Joe Conroy Chief Executive Officer; Stephen C. Neal to Remain Chairman". Marketwire. Cooley Godward Kronish LLP. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "The 100 most influential lawyers in America". National Law Journal. June 19, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Los Altos Attorney Stephen C. Neal Elected Chair of Monterey Bay Aquarium Board of Trustees". Presspoint. July 31, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  9. ^ Author unknown Retrieved 2010-03-28
  10. ^ "Stephen C. Neal Named Board Chair of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation". Hewlett Foundation. July 15, 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  11. ^ "Stephen C. Neal". Levi Strauss. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  12. ^ Chronicle News Services (September 3, 2011). "Stephen Neal chosen as Levi Strauss chairman". San Francisco Chronicle. SFGate. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  13. ^ Cohen, David (July 22, 2022). "Meta Makes 3-Year, $150M Commitment to Its Oversight Board".