Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella promoted Brad Smith to the title of president and chief legal officer. It is the first time Vole has had a companywide president since Rick Belluzzo fled the office in 2002.
Smith, 56, is a Microsoft veteran, having joined the company in 1993. He was promoted to general counsel in 2002, when Vole was at war with everyone.
Smith became a Volish peacemaker. He brokered deals to settle many of the most contentious cases, shelling out billions in the process.
After settling much of Microsoft’s most acrimonious litigation, Smith has gone on to become the face of its public-policy efforts. He has been Microsoft’s top executive on government surveillance, intellectual property, and computer science education.
In an email to employees, Nadella said Smith would continue representing the company publicly on policy matters. He added that Smith will also “lead the work needed to accelerate initiatives that are important to our mission and reputation such as privacy, security, accessibility, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion, to start.”