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Spotify Taps Top Microsoft Lawyer Horacio Gutierrez as General Counsel

Gutierrez is best known for his work at Microsoft striking patent licensing deals over Android and Linux.

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s general counsel and longtime head of intellectual property law, has been hired by Spotify to serve as its top lawyer.

While holding the title of general counsel at Microsoft, Gutierrez still reported to his old boss, Brad Smith, who holds the title of president but remains in charge of legal and corporate affairs. Gutierrez was best known at Microsoft for spearheading the company’s patent licensing efforts, including deals struck with hardware makers to pay Microsoft for their use of Linux and Android.

Spotify announced the hire internally on Monday. Its former general counsel, Jared Grusd, left last year to become CEO of AOL’s Huffington Post.

Smith praised Gutierrez for his 17 years at Microsoft. “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,” Smith said in a statement.

A Microsoft representative said Smith is expected to announce by the end of the month “how the legal work will be organized following Horacio’s departure.”

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