Bruce Sewell is retiring and Katherine Adams is taking over as Apple's new head of legal.

Katherine Adams, formerly of Honeywell, is joining Apple as general counsel and senior vice president of Legal and Global Security. Bruce Sewell, who saw Apple through its legal battles with Samsung, among others, and its standoff with the FBI, will be retiring after 8 years with the company.

From Apple:

"We are thrilled to welcome Kate to our team. She's a seasoned leader with outstanding judgment and that has worked on a wide variety of legal cases globally. Throughout her career she's also been an advocate on many of the values we at Apple hold dear," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "Bruce has our best wishes for his retirement, after eight years of dedicated service to Apple and a tremendously successful career. He has tirelessly defended our IP, our customers' right to privacy and our values. Bruce has set a new standard for general counsels, and I am proud to have worked with him and proud to call him a friend."

"Apple has had a tremendous impact on the world and it's an honor to join their team," said Kate Adams. "I'm excited to help Apple continue to grow and evolve around the world, protecting their ideas and IP, and defending our shared values."

"To have worked with this amazing executive team and all the incredibly smart people at Apple, especially my colleagues in legal and global security, has been the honor of a lifetime," said Bruce Sewell. "The years I have spent in this job have been the most gratifying of my career. I'm delighted Kate is joining and I know she will be a huge asset."

Adams joins Apple in the midst of ongoing lawsuits with cellular modem supplier, Qualcomm, and continued uncertain over how privacy and encryption laws will evolve and be interpreted around the globe. It's a critically important job at Apple and one that affects every customer.

On behalf of everyone here, we wish Adams the very best in her new role, and Sewell every happiness in his retirement.