As its battle with the FBI continues, Apple has reportedly hired a former Amazon executive to oversee its corporate digital defenses, according to Reuters. George Stathakopoulos was vice president of information security at Amazon for 6 years and was a general manager at Microsoft for 10 years before joining Amazon. At Apple, Stathakopoulos will report to CFO Luca Maestri.
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Reporting to Maestri, Stathakopoulos will take the task of protecting corporate assets, such as confidential software, product, and design information. He will also be helping in protecting data about customers.
At Amazon, Stathakopoulos was responsible for programs that protected Amazon and Amazon customers, as well as the company’s IT infrastructure. From Stathakopoulos’ LinkedIn:
Responsible for the programs that protect Amazon and its customers, as well as directing the company’s IT infrastructure and other technology resources.
Prior to joining Amazon, George led Microsoft’s global Microsoft Security Response Center and Global Security Strategy & Diplomacy teams responsible for proactively detecting and responding to threats, and partnering with governments on technical and policy security issues.
While Apple has not commented on the hire, Reuters says that when a call was placed to Apple asking to speak to Stathakopoulos, an Apple employee connected them to a person who said “George’s office.”
Stathakopoulos has reportedly been at Apple for roughly a week. It’s an investing hire for Apple, especially with its ongoing case with the FBI over unlocking the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen. The hire highlights Apple’s increasing focus on security. Last month, the company hired the developer behind Edward Snowden’s recommended chat app, while Apple acquired security consultancy company LegbaCore in November.
Apple is set to face the FBI in court on March 22nd over its refusal to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino. The hearing is one day after Apple plans to unveil new products at a press event. Both the FBI and Apple have recently shared new filings concerting the case.