November 13, 2006 7:38 AM PST

Apple names new head lawyer

Apple Computer on Monday said it had hired IBM veteran Donald Rosenberg to take over as its new senior vice president and general counsel.

Donald Rosenberg Donald Rosenberg

Rosenberg, who will report to CEO Steve Jobs, held a number of top-tier legal positions during his more than 30 years with Big Blue, serving most recently as the company's head lawyer.

"Don has a broad range of experience that includes litigation, securities, intellectual property and antitrust, and he will be responsible for overseeing all legal matters and government affairs for Apple," Jobs said in a statement.

Apple's general counsel post has been vacant since May, when Nancy Heinen abruptly stepped down without explanation. After her departure, Heinen reportedly hired a high-profile legal team to represent her in an investigation into the Mac maker's stock options practices.

At the time of Heinen's exit, Apple said Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer would preside over the legal department while the company searched for a permanent replacement.

The announcement of Rosenberg's hiring comes as Apple continues to deal with fallout over reported irregularities in stock option grants to employees between 1997 and 2002. The company said last month that Fred Anderson, who served as its chief financial officer from 1996 until 2004, has resigned from his seat on Apple's board.

The Mac maker has said it also plans to restate its financial results--the latest of which topped analysts' expectations--after completing the stock options probe.

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