Microsoft general counsel Dev Stahlkopf jumps to Cisco

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A man passes under a Cisco sign at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

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  • 14-year Microsoft vet will be CLO at Cisco
  • Brad Smith remains computer giant's president and chief lawyer
  • Microsoft has tapped two successor GCs

Dev Stahlkopf, who joined Microsoft Corp 14 years ago and became its general counsel in 2018, is leaving the company to become chief legal officer of another tech giant - network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins announced Stahlkopf's hire in a statement on Tuesday. He said she will join the company on Aug. 2.

Mark Chandler, who had been Cisco's CLO, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. A Cisco representative said Tuesday that after 25 years at the company Chandler decided "to retire from Cisco effective in May. He continues to serve as an advisor to the company and the board to ensure a smooth transition."

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Microsoft is promoting two deputy general counsel to general counsel, leading different teams. Lisa Tanzi will lead a new customer experience and policy team that supports engineers, while Hossein Nowbar will lead the new corporate legal affairs team, according to an internal memo from the company's president and chief legal officer Brad Smith.

Stahlkopf said in Twitter posts Tuesday that she is "excited to be a part of the world-changing innovation Cisco is driving and to work with the world-class professionals in Cisco Legal."

"My 14 years @Microsoft have been an incredible journey, and I'm leaving with immense gratitude for my time there and the extraordinary people I have had the opportunity to work with," she said. She did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

At Microsoft, Stahlkopf oversaw matters related to data privacy and advanced the company's efforts to increase diversity at its outside counsel law firms.

She previously worked at Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie.

"Dev brings extensive experience to many key issues for Cisco, including global geopolitical matters, cross-border data issues, data privacy, intellectual property and immigration reform," Robbins said. "She also has incredible knowledge in software, large company transformations and a relentless focus on operational excellence and agility."

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include statements from Cisco and Microsoft.

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Caroline Spiezio covers legal industry news, with a focus on law firms and in-house counsel. She is based in New York. Reach her at