Several Microsoft teams being rebuilt around legal chief Brad Smith

Huge changes have come to Microsoft’s legal team, which is being built around the company’s new president and chief legal officer Brad Smith. The most notable of these changes is the appointment of Horacio Gutierrez to general counsel – more specifically, the new department of Corporate, External and Legal affairs. This position in general counsel used to be held by Brad Smith, however since his appointment as Microsoft’s first President since 2002, he was no longer able to hold that position.

Along with Gutierrez’s new position, Microsoft has made a few other changes to its rosters. The company’s first female president, Mary Snapp, has been appointed corporate vice president of Philanthropy, and privacy lawyer John Frank will be leading the EU government affairs department. Taking up some of Brad Smith’s old responsibilities is John Seethoff, who has been named corporate secretary. It was also determined that the “trustworthy computing” team is going to be answering directly to Brad Smith.

The reason behind these changes? According to a Microsoft spokesperson, these changes are part of a “broader initiative” to put a larger emphasis on privacy, security, and external relationships, especially with governments, universities, and nonprofits.

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Do you think these changes will be significant for Microsoft?