Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Source: Brian Smale, Microsoft
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) said Wednesday that the board’s independent directors unanimously elected Satya Nadella, 53, to the role of board chair.
This represents the first major CEO shift in the company in seven years since Nadella took over from former CEO Steve Ballmer.
Shares of the company whose market value currently sits at US$1.94 trillion, fell slightly – 0.38% – in the wake of the news.
The board has unanimously elected John W. Thompson, 72, former Symantec CEO, as lead independent director, a role he held previously from 2012 to 2014.
Microsoft said 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.
“As lead independent director, 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.”
In addition to these role changes, the board has also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.56 per share. The dividend is payable September 9, 2021, to shareholders of record on August 19, 2021. The ex-dividend date will be August 18, 2021.
CEO Nadella has been a key pillar in Microsoft’s shift into cloud computing, leading the company to become the world’s third-largest public cloud operator built on billions of Dollars in investment in digital infrastructure CAPEX across all continents.