Microsoft Corp. has appointed CEO Satya Nadela as chairman of the company. Under Nadella’s tutelage, the software giant has grown into one of the most valuable companies in the world. The Indian CEO has now been “unanimously elected as chairman of Microsoft’s board of directors”.
This is the first time in two decades that Microsoft Chairman and CEO will be same person. The last time it happened to Bill Gates. Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000.
CEO is the highest CEO in a company. The CEO’s primary responsibilities include running overall operations and making key company decisions, notes Investopedia.
The CEO often acts as the primary point of communication between the board of directors and the company’s operations. Chair is a different position than CEO. In some companies, the CEO and chairman of the company are the same person.
Nadella, who has been CEO since 2014, has helped grow the company into a leader in cloud computing in recent years, generating profits and a market cap of nearly $2 trillion, CNN reports.
In addition to this role change, the board has approved a quarterly dividend of $0.56 per share. The dividend will be distributed to shareholders registered on 19 August 2021 on 9 September 2021.
Satya Nadella’s Journey Towards Chairman
Nadella, CEO of all three companies, became the third chairman in Microsoft’s history after Gates and Thompson. In 2014 he took over as CEO of Microsoft from Steve Ballmer. He has focused the company on cloud computing, mobile apps and artificial intelligence to revive the office software franchise.
Microsoft’s stock has increased more than seven times under his leadership, and its market value is close to $2 trillion.
In 2020, against the backdrop of the coronavirus, Microsoft delivered strong results for our shareholders, including returns of $35 billion in stock redemptions and dividends.
“The board of directors recognizes Mr. Nadella for his extraordinary progress, which has led to a cultural change within the organization, especially given the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on our business and employees,” Microsoft said earlier in a proxy statement. “Mr. Nadella is very passionate about cultivating a culture of leadership,” he added.
Thompson, who took over from Bill Gates in 2014, will serve as a leading independent director, according to Microsoft.
Thompson will retain significant powers including contributing to the board’s agenda on behalf of independent directors, holding independent directors’ meetings, setting the agenda for board meetings, and evaluating board performance, the tech giant added.