Apple today has announced that its general counsel and SVP Bruce Sewell will be retiring at the end of the year and that Katherine Adams will be stepping into the role.

AirPods

In a press release, Apple shared the news that Sewell would be retiring after working at Apple in his current role since 2009. Tim Cook shared the following about Sewell’s exit.

Bruce has our best wishes for his retirement, after eight years of dedicated service to Apple and a tremendously successful career. He has tirelessly defended our IP, our customers’ right to privacy and our values. Bruce has set a new standard for general counsels, and I am proud to have worked with him and proud to call him a friend.

As for Sewell’s replacement, Katherine Adams comes to Apple after serving as general counsel and SVP at Honeywell since 2003. She shared excitement about her move to Apple.

“Apple has had a tremendous impact on the world and it’s an honor to join their team,” said Kate Adams. “I’m excited to help Apple continue to grow and evolve around the world, protecting their ideas and IP, and defending our shared values.”

Cook shared similar sentiment and mentioned that Adams and Apple have many shared values.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kate to our team. She’s a seasoned leader with outstanding judgment and that has worked on a wide variety of legal cases globally. Throughout her career she’s also been an advocate on many of the values we at Apple hold dear,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

One interesting tidbit is that Honeywell sued Nest back in 2012 over patent infringements for its learning thermostat. iPod father Tony Fadell painted “Honeywell as ‘worse than a troll’ when the suit was first raised, calling the patents the company invoked ‘hopelessly invalid,’ and arguing that the company was using old patents to stifle innovation in the thermostat market.”

No doubt Adams will have her work cut out for her with Apple’s ongoing legal battle with Quallcomm and the company’s appeal with the European Commission over its tax practices in Ireland.

As for Sewell, he shared that working at Apple was the “honor of a lifetime” and that he’s happy and confident to see Adams fill his role.

The years I have spent in this job have been the most gratifying of my career. I’m delighted Kate is joining and I know she will be a huge asset.


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