Apple has hired in an industry heavyweight to manage its legal affairs, the company announced today.

Donald J. Rosenberg, senior vice president and general counsel of IBM, will join Apple as its senior vice president and general counsel, reporting to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

"We're thrilled to welcome such a seasoned professional to our executive team," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "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."

In his over 30 years at IBM, Rosenberg has held numerous positions including senior vice president and general counsel of the IBM Corporation; vice president and assistant general counsel for litigation; and counsel to IBM's mainframe division, where he played a key role in formulating its policies with regard to intellectual property protection. His focus on securities, intellectual property and competition issues has involved extensive interaction with the SEC, the US Department of Justice and the European Economic Commission.

Rosenberg received a BS in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a JD from St. John's University School of Law where he was an editor of the Law Review.

He replaces Apple's general counsel and secretary Nancy Heinen, who left Apple in May 2006.