Apple Computer has raided its arch rival IBM to take the company's senior vice-president and general counsel Donald Rosenberg.
Rosenberg had worked at IBM for more than 30 years, but was only named as senior vice-president and general counsel in January.
Rosenberg replaces Nancy Heinen as the top legal executive at the company responsible for the Mac and iPod. Heinen made an unannounced exit from the company in May, reportedly cashing in $7.5m (£3.97m) in shares.
Heinen joined Apple in September 1997 from NeXT Software, where she had been head of legal when it was acquired by Apple. With Apple, Rosenberg will retain the same title he held at his former company and will report to chief executive Steve Jobs.
At IBM Rosenberg was crucial in the formulation of the company's IP protection policies.