Day in the Life: David Dobbyn

David Dobbyn

Senior Director and Regional Counsel,

EMEA & India Xilinx

Dublin, Ireland

6:50 am

Stir just before my alarm goes off and wake my family. My daughters sleep like hibernating bears.

7:00 am

Quick scan of phone for urgent overnight updates. I’m based at our EMEA HQ in Dublin and manage the legal function for EMEA and India. Our global HQ is in San Jose, Calif. Xilinx makes all programmable silicon devices and licenses software tools for customers in various end markets.

7:10 am

Family breakfast. Cajole girls into getting ready for school. Irish dancing shoes found in time.

8:00 am

One of my favorite parts of the day: bringing Mia to school. We listen to and sing “Pet Sounds” by the Beach Boys, park nearby, and chat as we walk to school.

8:30 am

Drive to work, mostly against the traffic. Upon arrival, I take a call from our VP of sales based in EMEA. We discuss a challenging ongoing negotiation with a key customer.

9:00 am

Check my agenda and re-prioritize some items. I send a few emails and catch up with my direct report. We discuss a Nordic customer’s difficult requests on a proposed IP licensing agreement.

9:30 am

Meeting with the director of customer operations in EMEA on a proposed supply agreement. We agree a negotiation strategy and I update the agreement.

10:00 am

Management meeting of the site leaders in Dublin. Our EMEA managing director is also the global CIO and provides an update from his trip to San Jose last week. We share updates from our respective functions across the global organization.

11:00 am

Main coffee of the day. Call with our finance director for India and a third party on a proposed memorandum of understanding. I update and re-circulate the MOU.

12:00 pm

Discuss a sensitive employee issue with the senior HR director and our upcoming joint session for senior managers in Hyderabad on Indian employment law and policies.

1:00 pm

Lunch in Canteen — never at my desk. With a broad role, it’s vital to maintain a good rapport with other functions. I take a brisk walk with business operations colleagues to recharge in the unexpected Irish sunshine (we had hailstones moments before that).

1:30 pm

Edit my presentation for the next board meeting of Xilinx Ireland. Topics include the impact of new EU legislation and updates on successfully resolved dispute matters.

2:30 pm

Call my friend, the current chair of the General Counsel Forum within the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland (I was chair last year). The Forum is a great vehicle for sharing experiences between senior in-house lawyers. She tells me that she has secured a really high-caliber external speaker for the next session.

2:45 pm

Conference call with automotive segment team in the United States and our senior sales director for EMEA North. We discuss a customer’s tender for a large revenue opportunity.

4:15 pm

Catch up on a mix of priority items including the review of an Indian due diligence report and providing instructions on a French litigation matter. I discuss an IP ownership issue with our general counsel in San Jose.

6:00 pm

Leave the office. Listen to the headlines and then music — jazz especially.

6:30 pm

Catch up with the girls and help Mia with her piano practice. My wife (a lawyer, too) is stuck in work so we do a video call. I’m half-French and read bedtime stories to the girls in French.

7:30 pm

I reply to a few urgent emails, including one from an engineering director, who is at an impasse with a proposed sub-contractor. There are times, especially at quarter-end, when I have to log on to keep things under control. If it’s quieter, I’ll read online.

8:30 pm

My wife gets back from work and we chat over pasta with a glass of wine.

9:30 pm

Guitar practice completely clears my head. I try to transcribe a daunting solo by John Scofield, one of my favorite guitarists.

11:00 pm

I do a final email check on my phone and luckily have no urgent emails. I read a few pages of “Ubik,” a futuristic crime thriller, by Philip K. Dick. Sleep drifts in.