Microsoft Logo at IgniteSource: Windows Central

What you need to know

  • In recent years, talks of tech regulations have sprung up more and more.
  • Governments and regulatory bodies around the world have weighed in on Big Tech.
  • Microsoft is bulking up its legal army to prepare for the incoming tidal wave of change.

In a recent interview with Axios, Microsoft's president Brad Smith outlined the company's plan to bulk up its legal and corporate affairs division in the upcoming fiscal year. Specifically, the goal is to grow it by 20% in the approaching year and more in the years after, as Microsoft's interested in picking up more people than a single year would allow for.

Microsoft's legal and corporate personnel will get reshuffled as a result of the company's hiring spree strategy. For starters, general counsel Dev Stahlkopf has left Microsoft and gone to Cisco. According to Axios, these are the other major roster alterations:

  • Two of Microsoft's other top lawyers will add the title of general counsel. Lisa Tanzi will lead a new team that oversees how policies are implemented by engineering and sales teams around the globe, while 23-year Microsoft veteran Hossein Nowbar will be in charge of the corporate legal team, including intellectual proprty, litigation, compliance, and competition teams.

  • Former FTC commissioner and Microsoft chief privacy officer Julie Brill will add oversight of the company's responsible AI, digital safety, accessibility compliance and regulatory governance efforts.

In the interview with Axios, Smith said Microsoft's goal was to get ahead of regulations and preemptively accommodate them instead of fighting them.

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It's worth noting that Microsoft is lawyering up just as its pact with Google to not litigate is ending. Make of that what you will, and be sure to check out Windows 11 content in the meantime if you're not in the mood to think about corporate politics.