Microsoft Appoints General Counsel Brad Smith as President

Microsoft Corp. appointed general counsel Brad Smith as president and chief legal officer, effective Friday.

Smith, 56, is the first companywide president at Microsoft since Rick Beluzzo resigned in 2002. He joined the Redmond, Washington-based software giant in 1993.

Smith has served as the company’s secretary and general counsel since 2002, and executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs since 2011. As part of Microsoft’s senior legal leadership team, he played a key role in implementing the antitrust consent decree established in 2001 with the Department of Justice and state attorneys general.

Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, in an e-mail to employees, said he wants Smith to play a bigger role in “strengthening our external relationships and representing the company publicly” as well as working on initiatives regarding privacy, security, accessibility, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion.

“Brad will work with me and others on the senior leadership team in the coming weeks to help us organize ourselves for success, identifying the right way to have impact on these cross-company initiatives,” Nadella wrote.

Nadella said Smith’s current leadership team will assume more day-to-day legal responsibilities as a result of his new appointment.

(An earlier version of the story corrected the date of Smith’s appointment as general counsel.)

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