Satya Nadella, the chief executive officer of Microsoft, has been named as the chairman of the company on Wednesday. Indian-origin Nadella took over as a CEO of Microsoft in 2014 from Steve Ballmer. He has played a key role in scaling up tech giant’s business including billion-dollar acquisitions like LinkedIn, Nuance Communications and ZeniMax. “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 in a proxy statement earlier.
“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," the software giant said in a statement.
Under Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft regained the title of one of the world’s most valuable public company. With stock increasing more than 600% since then, the software behemoth is now the second most valuable in the world.
With 1.6 million shares of the company’s stock, Nadella is one of the top individual shareholders of Microsoft. The change in the leadership role comes after a year Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates stepped down from the board.
Thompson, who took over as chairman from Bill Gates in 2014, will serve as lead independent director, Microsoft said. Thompson will retain significant authority including providing input on behalf of the independent directors on board agendas, calling meetings of the independent directors, setting agendas for executive sessions, and leading performance evaluations of the CEO, the technology giant said.
The Microsoft board declared a quarterly dividend of USD 0.56 per share. The dividend is payable September 9, 2021, to shareholders of record on August 19, 2021.