April Miller Boise, ’94: A Business Lawyer Always Ready for the Next Challenge

April Miller Boise wearing white suit
April Miller Boise, ’94

In the spring of 2022, April Miller Boise, ’94, was confronted with a momentous decision. She loved everything about her job as executive vice president and chief legal officer at Eaton—the company, the work, her boss, her team, and Eaton’s location in the Midwest, where she had grown up and had worked for most of her career.

“I was sure that Eaton was where I was going to finish my career, and I was completely satisfied with that,” she said.

Then Intel called. The chip-making giant had begun making massive strategic changes—the new CEO, hired in 2021, called 2022 the company’s “year of transformation”—and Miller Boise had been identified as the right person to help lead those changes as executive vice president and chief legal officer.

“I told them that I knew something about tech, but the core of my experience was in manufacturing,” she recalled, “and they said: ‘We know. That’s perfect.’”

Soon she was in Silicon Valley, helping to guide what one business publication has described as an “audacious 43.5-billion-dollar plan to revive Intel.” She wasn’t alone in being new in her job: 70 percent of the company’s top leadership team was replaced as part of the transformation.

“Everything I’ve done and learned is in play here at Intel,” she said. “I knew I wanted to be a business lawyer when I came to the Law School, so I took every course in that area that I could, and I got a great grounding in understanding and thinking through key issues. Not long after I graduated, my work at Cleary Gottlieb involved very big transactions with a lot of international clients.”

After Cleary Gottlieb, she joined Thompson Hine in Cleveland, serving as managing partner during the final two years of her 11 years there. American Lawyer named her as one of the 45 best women lawyers under 45.

Her first corporate job was in 2011, as general counsel of the manufacturing company Veyance Technologies. “I had worried about the risk of leaving the firm and going in house, but Veyance was a spin-off from one of our biggest clients, Goodyear, so I knew it well,” she said. She led the sale of Veyance to another company and then moved on to a nine-month job leading the sale of another Goodyear spinoff, AVINTIV. Next came more than three years at Meritor, a Fortune 500 manufacturer of parts for large commercial vehicles.

While she was at Meritor, she cofounded the Black General Counsel 2025 Initiative, which provides training, mentoring, and other guidance to aspiring black GCs. “We see the GC role not only as an important goal in itself, but also as a way of helping to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are prominently reflected in companies’ plans and actions,” she said.

As Intel makes huge investments—its planned new manufacturing facilities in Arizona and Ohio, for example, will constitute the largest private-sector investments ever made in those states—she has helped sustain a DEI focus, including a hundred million dollars committed to research toward identifying and supporting the training and career paths necessary for people of color to build careers with the company.

Of her overall experience at Intel, she said, “It has been an incredible journey, helping an iconic company to carry out very bold strategies that will affect not only Intel but American national security, and in fact the lives of every person on the planet. I tell my wonderful children—Ella, Ethan, Maxwell, and Zoë—that you never know where your life is going to take you, but if you put in the work every day, you will be ready for challenges that you might never have expected.”