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Google lawyer heads to Twitter

Associate general counsel Alexander Macgillivray has announced that he will be joining Twitter as its general counsel.

Alexander Macgillivray's farewell message on Twitter. Twitter

Google lawyer Alexander Macgillivray has joined Twitter as its general counsel, according to posts on Sunday from Macgillivray's personal blog and Twitter account.

"Working in Google Legal has been a dream job," Macgillivray wrote on his blog. "The people at Google are phenomenal. In every part and at every level of the company there are great people with multiple useful talents in addition to those that got them the job. For a lawyer, the issues we dealt with every day were fascinating, the real-world impact of our work was humbling, and the ethical compass of the place remained true."

At Google, Macgillivray had served as associate general counsel for products and intellectual property, and had most recently been one of the company's voices in its tussle with publishers over their rights to link and reprint content.

We're not ones to sound the alarms over an alleged rush of Googlers fleeing the company for the likes of Facebook and Twitter (these things ebb and flow), but this one is a notable departure. With Twitter communication playing an increasingly prominent role in international news and affairs, the small company clearly needs to have solid legal counsel on board. For Macgillivray, it's undoubtedly more responsibility with fewer resources than the likes of Google--but a bigger space in Silicon Valley's spotlight at the moment.