Microsoft Corporation has named chief executive officer Satya Nadella as the chairman of the company’s board. This has strengthened Nadella’s position at the largest software maker in the world. He was elected as the chair following a unanimous vote of the company’s board. Nadella has replaced John Thompson as the chairman. With this, Thompson will be back in the role of lead of independent director. Thompson has been holding this position even before he was elected as chairman in the year 2014. According to the company, Thompson has been scaling back his work as the chair for the past few years. Microsoft said that Nadella and Thompson have been discussing the new roles since last fall. The changes show how Nadella has been extremely successful as the top executive of the company in the last seven years. The 53-year-old CEO has helped the company becoming more prominent than ever before in the field of technology. Nadella took over the post of chief executive officer in 2104. It was immediately Bill Gates stepped down as the chairman of the software company. Gates had co-founded the company in the year 1975 with childhood friend Paul Allen. After he stepped down, Thompson was tapped to replace him as the chair. Thompson has worked as a technology executive for several decades and the idea was to be benefited from his mentoring. Before joining the board in 2012, Thompson was CEO of Symantec. He had replaced Gates as chair of Microsoft.
Microsoft issues a statement in which it said that Nadella would use his experience and deep understanding of the business to set the agenda for the board. “He will leverage his knowledge for the risk management and take the decision to identify key issues to be taken up for the board’s review,” the statement issued by Microsoft reads. It is well that it is under the leadership of Nadella that Microsoft regained the title of being the most valuable public company in the world. At present, Microsoft is the second most valuable company after tech giant Apple. Microsoft stock has risen almost 600 per cent during the period. Under his leadership, Microsoft shifted focus on cloud computing services in order to power the applications of the company. Moreover, the company has expanded through the acquisition of various companies. One of the most prominent acquisitions was that of social network LinkedIn in 2016. Microsoft has also acquired businesses like video-game developer Zenimax and code-sharing site GitHub.
Members of the Microsoft board have praised Nadella for his leadership skills during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a proxy statement filed by the company in December, it stated that the company delivered 14 per cent growth in the revenue in the fiscal year 2020. This despite the company facing challenges in advertising and other markets. “The board credit chief executive officer Satya Nadella for driving incredible progress even during the times of coronavirus pandemic. There was a huge impact of the coronavirus on our business but Nadella steered us through the challenging times,” the company said. For those who are unaware, Nadella has more than 1.6 million shares of Microsoft’s stock. This makes him the top individual shareholder of the company.