Microsoft Names Nowbar as Legal Chief, Palmer as General Counsel | Windows


Microsoft Corp. has reshuffled its legal leadership as the technology giant pushes forward with its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc.

The company has promoted Hossein Nowbar to the expanded role of chief legal officer, while deputy general counsel and head of litigation Jonathan Palmer has moved up to general counsel, according to an internal memo from Microsoft vice chairman Bradford Smith.

Smith, a former Covington & Burling partner who has worked at Microsoft since 1993, continues to oversee the company’s corporate, external, and legal affairs departments globally. Cynthia “Cindy” Randall, an associate general counsel for litigation, has been elevated to deputy general counsel and head of litigation, a role in which she’ll report to Palmer, according to Smith’s memo. The appointments of Randall, Palmer, and Nowbar became effective this month.

A body in the European Union is seeking feedback on Microsoft’s effort to secure UK regulatory approval for its Activision Blizzard takeover. The European Commission, which approved the deal in May, circulated a series of questions to gaming firms to examine whether a UK proposal would be pro-competitive, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Smith’s memo said Nowbar’s new role will see him oversee Microsoft’s corporate, external, and legal affairs operations, its customer experiences and policy team, and an initiative designed to promote responsible practices involving the use of artificial intelligence.

Microsoft invested $10 billion in OpenAI Inc., the parent company of artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT, which has been integrated into some Microsoft products. Microsoft said this month that it would indemnify customers that purchase its artificial intelligence-related products from copyright lawsuits.

Nowbar, who joined Microsoft as a product lawyer in 1997, most recently held the roles of corporate secretary and general counsel for corporate legal…

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