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Microsoft general counsel Horacio Gutierrez, a longtime attorney who oversaw many of the Redmond tech giant’s company’s biggest patent deals and cases, is leaving Microsoft to join music streaming service Spotify as its general counsel.

Horacio Gutierrez
Horacio Gutierrez

“Horacio has made a huge contribution to Microsoft and to our team over more than 17 years. He’s a great leader and a great person, and I know he’ll be just as successful as he takes on a new challenge,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, in a statement released by the company this morning.

Gutierrez’s extensive experience in intellectual property should come in handy at Spotify, given the complex licensing arrangements associated with online music streaming.

Microsoft has not yet announced plans for a successor. Gutierrez was appointed to the role of general counsel at Microsoft in November as part of a series of changes in the company’s legal department, but he was still reporting to Smith, who previously held the role of general counsel. The new role at Spotify will make him the streaming service’s top legal officer.

Spotify’s previous general counsel, Jared Grusd, left last year to join AOL.

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