Disney named Horacio Gutierrez, most recently Spotify’s top lawyer, as senior executive VP, general counsel and secretary.
Gutierrez’s appointment is effective Feb. 1, 2022. He reports directly to CEO Bob Chapek. Gutierrez will succeed Disney veteran Alan Braverman who, as announced in July, is retiring after nearly two decades as the Mouse House’s general counsel.
“Horacio is an incredibly skilled attorney and dynamic leader who comes to Disney with 35 years of legal experience in markets around the globe,” Chapek said in announcing Gutierrez’s hire. “Having spent more than two decades working for premier technology companies, he has an extensive understanding of the complex legal questions that come with technological disruption and rapid industry change.”
In the role, Gutierrez will serve as the chief legal officer of the Walt Disney Co., overseeing its team of attorneys responsible for all aspects of Disney’s legal affairs around the world, and acting as a strategic adviser to the company’s senior executives and the board of directors. His areas of accountability will include litigation, compliance, transactional law, securities law, regulatory matters, privacy protection, global ethics, and patent, copyright, and trademark issues.
Gutierrez said, in a statement provided by Disney, “I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead Disney’s global legal organization, to work with Bob Chapek and his leadership team, and to contribute to one of the most admired and beloved companies in the world as it builds on its many strengths and transforms for the future.” He added, “It is a particular honor for me to succeed Alan Braverman, an iconic figure in the legal profession, who over the last two decades has built one of the largest and most admired legal departments in the world.”
For the past two years, Gutierrez has served as head of global affairs and chief legal officer for Spotify, where he’s been especially outspoken about Apple’s allegedly anticompetitive business practices with respect to its App Store policies. He was previously Spotify’s general counsel and VP of business and legal affairs from 2016-19.
Prior to joining Spotify, Gutierrez was corporate VP and general counsel for Microsoft, overseeing the company’s legal affairs worldwide, including support of the complete lifecycle of Microsoft’s products and services, including R&D, business development activities, M&A, litigation, legal compliance, and cybercrime prevention. He initially joined Microsoft in 1998 as Corporate Attorney, LATAM, and held a number of positions of increasing responsibility throughout the legal department during his 17-year tenure with the company, including Associate General Counsel, EMEA from 2002 to 2006; Deputy General Counsel, Intellectual Property and Licensing Group from 2006 to 2014; and Deputy General Counsel, Products and Services Group from 2014 to 2015.
Gutierrez holds a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School; a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law; and a Bachelor of Laws degree and post-graduate diploma in corporate and commercial law from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela.
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