The Perfect Match

K. Marshall Dye found her place at Match.com  

Published in Corporate Counsel Edition® - 2008 Magazine — August 2008

Much like the jet she will board in the morning, K. Marshall Dye's career has enjoyed a fast take-off. As general counsel for Match.com, the Internet's largest dating Web site, Dye is exactly where she wants to be.

"I think it's a great company," she says of Match.com. "It's well run by good people who want to do the right thing and make our customers happy. It's fun to be a part of that."

Part of the fun, the 35-year-old says, is the travel. On this night she is packing to leave Texas the following morning for meetings in New York, and then it's off to London, where Match.com has an office. The company employs five attorneys including Dye, three paralegals and a support staff—and Dye sees it as her responsibility to be there.

"I think it's so valuable to actually be somewhere and sit with the folks in the office," she says. "Especially as a lawyer—if you're not accessible to your clients, you're not doing the best you can for the company."

It is travel that originally led Dye to Match.com's headquarters in Dallas. Five years ago she interviewed for a position with Ticketmaster, Match's sister company. (Both were owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp.) The position called for splitting time between the Los Angeles and Dallas offices, which appealed to Dye. Ticketmaster decided not to fill that job, and she accepted a position at Arter & Hadden, an Ohio-based firm with a Dallas office. A few months later, Chris Riley, who interviewed her at Ticketmaster, got in touch.

"He called me and said they just made him general counsel of Match. ‘Want to come work for me?'" Dye remembers. "And I said, ‘No, I really love my job, but when you get into town call me and we'll go grab a beer.'"

A few months later Riley called again, and it wasn't about the beer. Match.com was undergoing international expansion and he wanted Dye to come in-house. She did, and two-and-a-half years later she was promoted to general counsel.

For the former triathlete, finishing in record time is just part of the game. After completing her undergraduate degree at Emory University in Atlanta, the New Jersey native stayed south for law school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. By the age of 24 she had her juris doctor and an offer from Jones Day.

"I was ready to get going, and I loved it," she says of starting at Jones Day. "I didn't mind working around the clock."

Soon after, she left Jones Day for a clerkship with the Honorable John H. McBryde, United States district judge for the Northern District of Texas. She says the clerkship "opened my eyes to what law practice is really about, and how to get to the bottom of what is really important."

During her yearlong stint with the court, she worked on a patent case she found fascinating, which led her to try her hand in the high-tech sector.

She landed a spot back in Dallas with the telecom startup Airband and spent the next few years teaching herself "a lot about transactional work, drafting of contracts, basically making it up as I went along," she says. "What I got out of that is that I like to make a business work. At that point I made a decision not to go back to litigation."

While Airband never expanded like she had hoped, Dye left there with an important lesson. "I never thought I had a head for business—it never occurred to me that I would. Turns out I really do," she says.

At Match, Dye has her hands full keeping pace with the company's growth. Because security issues are at the forefront for the Internet-based company, Dye says Match.com has state-of-the-art protection for data privacy. "We run a clean ship. One of the things we do well at Match is we value our customers. And when you really value your customers, the decisions you make keep you on a straight and narrow path. It makes it easier for the legal department."

Now in her 11th year of practicing, Dye has found her own perfect match—her husband, attorney Jay Reddien, of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. They were married in November 2005, and now have a son. Family life has Dye slowly trading her desire for fast-paced travel for more down time at home.

"Travel was fun when I was single," she says, "but now I don't go anywhere for a month." A family with two busy lawyers makes for hectic schedules, but there's a lot of understanding. "I'm really lucky that he understands when I say, ‘Sorry, I'm not going to make it home for dinner,'" she says. "He understands just like I do when he says that to me."

But if working all the time has an upside, she says it's the perspective it brings: "It makes your free time more precious, more valuable."

Page Generated: 0.046982049942017 sec