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Microsoft names CEO Satya Nadella board chairman

By Eleanor Escalante Published Jun 17, 2021 6:10 pm

Microsoft Corp. (Microsoft) announced Thursday that chief executive officer Satya Nadella has taken a dual position as the new company board chairman.

Nadella won through unanimous voting of the board members, succeeding John Thompson who is returning as lead independent director following a unanimous vote.

“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 press release.

The CEO has been a key player in keeping Microsoft relevant amid scrutiny on large companies as he brought back fortunes to the second-largest company by value.

The tech giant has grown in the cloud computing business with a $1.97 trillion market capitalization this year. Under Nadella, the company also has billion-dollar acquisitions including  LinkedIn, artificial intelligence Nuance Communications, and publisher of interactive entertainment content ZeniMax Media.

The board has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.56 per share, according to Microsoft. “The dividend is payable Sept. 9, 2021, to shareholders of record on Aug. 19, 2021. The ex-dividend date will be Aug. 18, 2021,” it added.

Nadella earlier told CNBC that power dynamics in the workplace cannot be abused, amid a probe on Microsoft’s first CEO Bill Gates’ alleged affair with a company employee 20 years ago.

The appointment of Nadella is the second major change in the board of directors of Microsoft for two consecutive years after co-founder Gates stepped down last March 2020.

(Image from Microsoft on YouTube)