Microsoft names Brad Smith as its new President and chief legal officer

Brad Smith
Brad Smith (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has made a small, but still interesting, shift in its executive team. It has promoted its long-time general counsel Brad Smith, giving him the new title of President and chief legal officer for the company.

Smith's new role is the first time anyone at Microsoft has held the company title of President since 2002, when Rick Beluzzo left the company. Smith joined Microsoft in 1993 and was named as the company's general counsel in 2002. In 2011, Smith got promoted to executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs.

Bloomberg reports that Smith's appointment was first revealed in a company-wide email by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. He stated that as part of Smith's new role as President, he will be "strengthening our external relationships and representing the company publicly." Smith will also work on Microsoft's efforts in security, environmental sustainability and more.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab); Via: Bloomberg

50 Comments
  • Yes!!
  • Really?... Ok
  • It's Bill Gates with a Facelift and a New Wig.
  • He better make windows phones better
  • No!
  • Ok
  • The description says "This will be the first time since 2002 that Microsoft has given anyone in the company the President title since 2002." lol
  • Happens to me a lot when I'm typing. I decide to rephrase something halfway through the sentence and forget that the first part of the sentence doesn't make much sense when paired with my new train of thought.
  • Your comment says "lol" Seems like you are being redundant, and your command had some redundancy too.
  • This is bad, Really bad,,,
  • Exactly how is it bad? Do you know him personally and think he's a jerk or something?
  • Why?
  • Tell 'em about the twinkie...
  • LOL!! Classic!
  • Like your show, it's all fluff and filler...
  • Everyone named Rodney.... SMDH
  • Cool. I am sure not many know about him but if he is good then good for him and the company.
  • Ehm who is him? Any idea for his record?
  • From the recent WPC... http://youtu.be/RkAwAj1Z9rg
  • So, this is the guy we need to have go after all the press that keep reporting bad articles without verification and sue them for defamation? You know, like the garbage story making the rounds about "Windows 10 downloads to your Windows 7 without your wanting it!" Such garbage. They need a good lawyer for their public face right now. Maybe he'll have the authority to get the legal department to shut up these people doing stories without sources just for click-bait. That would be a nice change.  People don't report bad things about Apple unless they have a good source and proof. They report it, but they make sure they have proof first. Why? Because Apple has the balls to sue you over it. It's all about maintaining an image. MS should do the same.
  • http://www.threadbombing.com/data/media/2/damn.gif
  • Non-techy, admin. job. No worries.
  • Do you know anything about him, like at all? Because if you did, you would know he is very well-versed in "techy" matters.
  • Congrats
  • #tokenwhiteguy
  • Brad Smith is a smart and articulate spokesperson who can translate legal issues into easily understandable comments. He was behind the strategy to negotiate with OEMs over Google's illegal use of Microsoft patents in Android. Rather than long and unpredictable suits (aka, the Apple way), Smith brought in what I've seen estimated at a billion a year in royalty payments (while at the same time causing certain bloggers heads to explode). Earlier, he was put in charge of the legal team between the time of Microsoft's anti-trust trial and the later period of the penalty hearings. Without even going into too much detail you can see the difference: the horrible, amateurish performance during the trial itself versus the on top of its game, polished performance of the penalty phase. Brad Smith then worked to settle all of the private suits that grew out of the anti-trust trial. More recently he has been Microsoft's voice for increased government transparency on orders for information about consumbers held by tech companies. This is first rate guy and its great to see Satya recognize that he can play a larger role.
  • Thank you. Finally a sensible comment!
  • Thanks for the first useful comment on the topic.
  • On Earth.
  • Great info. Thanks for the well-composed and thoughtful comment.
  • Exactly. Great comment. I saw this guy talk about Privacy, and was great, very understandable.
  • No doubt he is a fine man and valuable to the business. But as an "admin. guy" I mean he's not central to strategic planning nor to technical development.
  • Well said! I was scrolling down the comments and it does not seem like anyone here knows anything about Brad Smith. You hit on everything that I wanted to say.
  • NSA forces MS to do things like these. Sad but true.
  • Um, hooray for the Legal Department, I guess.....?
  • First job, cancel the phones without being sued by BASF... ​
  • yet the ambulance chasers still bother MS Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on WM10
  • Anybody know any good lawyer joke?
  • 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name...
  • A European joke (with love)In: ​There are more lawyers than people in the US... (said with love, no offence) ​ ​ ​ ​
  • A friend asked his lawyer friend for an advice at a party. He got the answer and the lawyer send him a bill later that week. Ok?
  • Watch his keynote from the world wide partner conference a few months ago and you'll understand why they promoted him. He's awesome.
  • This! He was great, right? Can't find a video though.
  • http://youtu.be/RkAwAj1Z9rg
  • Thank you! I was wondering if this was the same guy at that presentation I watched a few months ago. At the time I thought he was an excellent communicator and speaker. On the basis of that presentation he certainly deserved promotion, and also deserves to be a far more prominent public face of the company.
  • Maybe they finally get their assess of their seats and do something about how they are represented in stores. Few of the Microsoft people in stores even know what a Windows Phone is ... at least here in Germany ...
  • So now Microsoft has: - A Founder
    - A President
    - 9 Vice-Presidents
    - A Chairman of the Board of Directors
    - A CEO   Those BoD meetings must be a fun parade of "I have the power! No, I have the power!". Often many heads don't think better than one. I just hope the "President" won't start interfering with the CEO's decisions or things will start going sour. And from a fellow lawyer to another: Brad, resist the temptation! It's power, it's alluring but resist it.
     
  • You don't have a clue how big companies work, do you? All big companies have a board to make sure that one person doesn't have too much power. Suppose Nadella walked into the office Monday morning and decided that he was cancelling Windows and Office would only be available on Linux (not that he would, but suppose he did). The the board would veto this and, if Nadella insisted, then get rid of him. The big decisions, not should the color of the Win10 box be blue or yellow, but the real decisions are not handled by the CEO but the board. The CEO makes the day to day decisions, while the real impactful decisions are brought to the board by the CEO for approval. And to object to there being more than one person in charge shows that you don't understand the difference between a 5 person mom and pop store, and a 100,000 employee mega international corporation with a multi billion dollar per year revenue stream.
  • Let's party. B)
  • Soooo ???