Honoree: Bill Shafton
VP, Business & Legal Affairs
LMU Loyola Law School
Bill Shafton has built Grindr’s large-scale, multifaceted legal and compliance initiatives, provides business-focused counsel, and supports the company’s massive international growth, intellectual property portfolio, and leads a broad array of commercial, corporate, litigation, and regulatory matters.
Shafton has always been fascinated by the intersection of law in technology. As a teenager, he worked in law firms to apply leading-edge technology to develop scalable processes for document generation and matter management. Shortly after graduating from Oberlin College, he brought his software development and data analytics skills to a plaintiff-side bankruptcy boutique. Years later, while married with two young children, he decided to attend Loyola Law School, where he graduated with honors. After law school, he joined an exceptional team of lawyers at Winston & Strawn, focusing on corporate restructuring and special situations.
In January 2017, Shafton was recruited to be Grindr’s first in-house lawyer. With his background as a legal technologist, his demonstrated success navigating complex regulatory and transaction matters, and his passion for having a positive impact in the world, he was a natural fit for a company that helps marginalized people connect and thrive.
Shafton has built out the legal function and helped the company achieve its ambitious goals. He led Grindr’s preparations for GDPR, built out the company’s compliance function, and oversaw a transition from the founder team to an acquisition by a Chinese-based gaming company. That ultimately triggered a case before the United States Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States. As a result, Shafton served as the security officer under the National Security Agreement and led Grindr’s commitment to cybersecurity and data protection. His sense of personal ownership is emblematic of the company’s commitment to the privacy rights of its users.
In addition to helping the company achieve its ambitious growth goals year after year, Shafton supported the Grindr For Equality social justice campaigns, including the development of India’s first online resource to help people in India find their nearest STD testing center.