Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s general counsel since November, is taking the same role at music streaming company Spotify.

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Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s general counsel, will leave the company to take the same role at music streaming company Spotify.

Gutierrez, who first joined Microsoft in 1998, took the counsel post in November, succeeding longtime counsel Brad Smith after he was elevated to company president.

Gutierrez previously led Microsoft’s intellectual property group, championing the program to license the company’s pile of patents to other companies.

Spotify, which offers a catalogue of songs for its users to stream over the Internet, is at the center of the debate about royalties and licensing in the music industry.

Gutierrez will be Spotify’s top lawyer. As Microsoft’s general counsel, he continued to report to Smith, who retained the title of chief legal officer.

“Horacio has made a huge contribution to Microsoft and to our team over more than 17 years,” Smith said in a statement. “He’s a great leader and a great person, and I know he’ll be just as successful as he takes on a new challenge.”

Gutierrez will start at Spotify in April, a Microsoft spokesman said. The spokesman said Smith expects to announce plans for the management of Microsoft’s legal unit by the time Gutierrez departs.

“Today I truly understand what ‘mixed emotions’ means,” Gutierrez said in a post on Twitter. “But I’m really excited to join the Spotify team!”