Airbnb’s former associate general counsel has jumped to Swiss open source software development firm SonarSource to serve as its first-ever legal chief.
Derek Smith is taking control of Sonar’s legal department after the Geneva-based company announced earlier this year that it had raised $412 million from investors at a $4.7 billion valuation.
Sonar launched in 2008 and offers tools to help developers write code and fix program errors in software. The company, which has an office in Austin, Texas, boasts that more than 300,000 organizations use its solutions, including Google parent Alphabet, IBM, Microsoft and NASA.
Smith, who announced his new GC job in a LinkedIn post, said Monday in an email that he’ll be working remotely from Park City, Utah. He has served for the past year as the Amsterdam-based top lawyer for MessageBird, a cloud communications platform with a $3.8 billion valuation.
During his short stint as legal chief, he led the firm’s 20-person legal department, finalized the integration of four acquisitions, hired eight team members and “completed hundreds of commercial contracts supporting revenue growth,” according to his LinkedIn profile.
Before MessageBird, Smith worked for nearly five years at Airbnb in San Francisco. He arrived at the short-term rental company as senior counsel and worked his way up to the associate GC seat, leading a 15-member team that advised Airbnb’s homes business.
His team helped develop Airbnb’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which included changes to the house cleaning system and cancellation policy. The team also had a hand in the company’s blockbuster 2020 initial public offering, which raised $3.5 billion for a valuation of more than $100 billion.
Earlier in his career, Smith served as data security and privacy counsel for software firm Palantir Technologies, assistant GC at online marketplace LivingSocial and as an associate at Latham & Watkins.