paidContent - Industry Moves: Twitter Hires Google Lawyer As General Counsel

This story was written by Joseph Tartakoff.
The latest established executive to fall for Twitter’s luster: Google’s Alexander Macgillivray, who is joining the company as general counsel, according to the NYT Bits blog. As deputy general counsel for products and intellectual property at Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Macgillivray played a prominent role in Google’s $125 million settlement with authors over the scanning of books. The state of that settlement, of course, is now in question since the U.S. Justice Department has launched a formal inquiry into whether it violates antitrust law.

Twitter has legal issues of a different sort, although they also are related to intellectual property. St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa, as well as some other parties, have sued the company for allowing people to hold accounts in their names. Twitter also said recently it was trying to trademark the word “Tweet.”

Macgillivray isn’t the first Googler to head to Twitter. Others include Douglas Bowman, the Google design lead, who joined Twitter in April, after saying his former employer had become too dependent on data in making design decisions. On his blog, Macgillivray is more positive about his experience at Google, describing it as a “dream job.” He does not, however, say why he’s leaving. We’ve reached out to both Google and Twitter for comment.

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By Joseph Tartakoff