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Steve Ballmer

Microsoft names Brad Smith president and chief legal officer

Microsoft has given longtime executive Brad Smith the title of president, as the company continues its transition to a new generation of leadership.

Smith's full title will be president and chief legal officer. He has been Microsoft's general counsel since 2002 and became an executive vice president in 2011.

CEO Satya Nadella announced the appointment in an email Friday to employees. Nadella said he wants Smith to play a bigger role in strengthening Microsoft's relationships and representing the company publicly. Smith will help lead the company on issues like privacy, security and accessibility, he said.

Smith, 56, joined Microsoft in 1993 and has held several...