Microsoft has announced that Satya Nadella is becoming the chair of the company's board replacing John Thompson. Thompson who took over as Chairman of the software giant's Co-founder Bill Gates in 2014, will serve as a lead independent director.
Microsoft shared in a statement, “In this role, Nadella will lead the work to set the agenda for the board, leveraging his deep understanding of the business to elevate the right strategic opportunities and identify key risks and mitigation approaches for the board’s review,” Microsoft said in a statement.
Nadella took over as Microsoft CEO in 2014 and within his leadership, the company saw some instrumental business moves including billion-dollar acquisitions like LinkedIn, Nuance Communications, and ZeniMax. Under Nadella’s governance, 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 stock has risen more than 600 percent.
In a proxy statement filed by the company in December 2020, Microsoft’s board members gave accolades to Nadella for his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic with the company delivering 14 percent revenue growth in the 2020 fiscal year, even as the company faced challenges in advertising and other markets.
“The board credits Mr. Nadella for his tremendous progress driving cultural change across the organization, especially given the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on our business and our people,” Microsoft said.
The leadership move comes after a year of Bill Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft and its first CEO, leaving the company’s board. Thompson, formerly CEO of Symantec, joined Microsoft’s board in 2012 and replaced Gates as Microsoft’s chair in 2014, on the same day Nadella replaced Steve Ballmer as the Microsoft CEO.