Microsoft general counsel Horacio Gutierrez joins Spotify

Arif Bacchus


Spotify made headlines this week when word a customer service rep let it be known that they would no longer support Windows Phone 8.1. Thankfully, they quickly retreated and announced that they would still support Windows Phone with an incoming app update. Now that the saga is over, there is more Spotify news to report on, this time dealing with a change in Microsoft’s internal team of employees.

The head of Microsoft’s general counsel, Horacio Gutierrez, is leaving Microsoft to take on the same role at music streaming company Spotify. Gutierrez previously led Microsoft’s intellectual property group and was responsible for the Redmond company’s efforts to license patents to other companies. After joining Microsoft in 1998, he was elevated to general counsel when longtime counsel Brad Smith was promoted to company president.

The acquisition of Gutierrez comes at a time when Spotify is in the middle of a battle over royalties and licensing in the music industry.

Gutirrez has even posted mixed emotions over the situation on Twitter:

According to the Seattle Times, Gutierrez will start at Spotify in April.  A Microsoft spokesman also told The Times that the company expects to announce plans for the management of Microsoft’s legal unit by the time Guiterrez departs.