Satya Nadella spoke at the World Economic Forum 2016 in Davos, Switzerland.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Microsoft said Wednesday that CEO Satya Nadella will chair the company’s board of directors and replace independent director John Thompson after a unanimous vote in the software company’s board of directors.
The change reflects Nadella̵
“In this role, Nadella will lead the work of setting the agenda for the Board of Directors and leveraging its deep understanding of the business to raise the right strategic options and identify key risks and mitigation methods for the Board of Directors’ review,” Microsoft said in a statement.
Under Nadella’s supervision, Microsoft regained the title of the world’s most valuable public company. Today, it stands as the second most valuable, only behind Apple, with Microsoft shares rising more than 600%.
Nadella’s Microsoft has become more focused on cloud computing services to power other companies’ applications, and the company has expanded through acquisitions of the social social network LinkedIn, the source code sharing site GitHub and the video game developer Zenimax.
Microsoft board members praised Nadella for his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic in the proxy statement the company filed in December, delivering 14% revenue growth in the 2020 fiscal year, even though the company faced challenges in advertising and other markets. “The Board of Directors credits Mr. Nadella for his tremendous progress driving cultural change throughout the organization, especially given the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on our business and our employees,” Microsoft said.
Nadella is one of Microsoft’s largest individual shareholders with more than 1.6 million shares in the company’s shares.
The move came a year after Bill Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft and its first CEO, left the company’s board of directors. Gates resigned after the board of directors investigated a report that Gates had tried to initiate an intimate relationship with an employee in 2000, a spokesman for the company said.
Thompson, former CEO of Symantec, joined Microsoft’s board in 2012 and replaced Gates as Microsoft’s chairman in 2014, the same day Nadella replaced Steve Ballmer as Microsoft’s CEO.
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