W.G. Champion Mitchell Elected to RTI International Board of Governors

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Retired lawyer and chief executive officer W.G. Champion "Champ" Mitchell has been elected to RTI International's Board of Governors.

Mitchell will join the 14 other board members who represent the University of North Carolina campuses, Duke University and business executives from leading companies.

Board members formulate policy and help guide RTI, whose mission is to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice.

Mitchell ran two multibillion dollar corporations and turned around several troubled companies. Most recently, he was chairman and CEO of Network Solutions LLC, the leading provider of online services to small business.

Mitchell joined Network Solutions in 2001 while it was part of VeriSign. In less than two years, he took Network Solutions from a cash negative business with declining sales and market share to a growing, cash positive business. Following this turnaround, Mitchell spearheaded the company's separation from VeriSign in November 2003. The company was sold to General Atlantic in March 2007. Mitchell retired as CEO in June 2008.

In 2006, the American Business Awards selected Mitchell to receive its award as Best Turnaround Executive in America.

Prior to Network Solutions, he served as executive vice president and general manager of the Mass Markets Division of VeriSign. He turned VeriSign Payment Services from an unprofitable, bankrupted operation into a profitable and cash positive business for the first time in its history. VeriSign then sold the operation to eBay for several hundred million dollars.

From 1997 to 2000, Mitchell founded and sold two start-up companies, both specializing in voice-over-Internet protocol.

Mitchell started his career as a lawyer and partner with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Winston-Salem, N.C. He was with that firm for 13 years.

He served both Presidents George H. W. Bush and William Clinton on the Board of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, and served both presidents as a member of the President's Policy Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. He was especially active in the negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mitchell sits on the boards of a number of businesses, including Argan Inc., Bookspan LLC, Direct Brands LLC and 41st Parameter.

In addition, he serves and has served on a number of civic and charitable boards including the NC Symphony, the NC Aquarium Society, the Tryon Palace Commission, the Washington Performing Arts Society, American Advertising Federation, National Association of Manufacturers, Northern Virginia Technology Council, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the U.S. Olympic Organizing Committee.

Mitchell received a bachelor's degree and juris doctor degree with highest honors from the University of North Carolina. He also served as an officer in the United States Navy.

W.G. Champion Mitchell


  • W.G. Champion "Champ" Mitchell has been elected to RTI International's Board of Governors
  • A retired lawyer and business executive, Mitchell was most recently chairman and CEO of Network Solutions LLC
  • Mitchell will join 14 other board members who formulate policy and help guide RTI