Rising to the Challenge to Accelerate Change

With two decades of expertise in the legal profession, Joanne Bal is known for rising to the challenge to accelerate the pace of change.

As the managing director of legal services at Applied Materials, Inc., colleagues say her creative problem solving approach, combined with strong analytical skills and business acumen make her a real asset to the company. They say she’s always willing to step out of her comfort zone and seeks out ways to help others succeed along their career paths.

Colleagues say her excellent judgment and pragmatic leadership skills inspire confidence in others and are regularly sought out by business leaders within the company. Bal lives by the golden rule of treating others the way you would like to be treated. “This type of empathy builds the trust and loyalty necessary for both personal and professional success,” Bal said.

She is instrumental in Applied Materials’ growth initiatives, where her passion and engagement allow her to connect the dots to drive progress across the company.  Bal has a broad scope of responsibilities at the company, serving as a member of the legal global leadership team and supporting the following business units:  Display, WEB, Solar, new markets, and CTO. “The law department is very well embedded with our business units, and I appreciate the partnering this allows,” Bal said.

Her career spans from law firms to start-ups to a Fortune 300 company. “Leaving private practice for an in-house legal career was a scary move at the time, but absolutely the right thing for me,” Bal said. “I understand the needs of my clients better – and have more fun – when I work closely with them in the same organization.”

Bal has successfully negotiated multi-million dollar technology sale, license and service agreements with worldwide customers, managed private financings and public-to-public mergers, and managed international legal, corporate and procedural matters. She holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.