Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced that the board’s independent directors unanimously elected Satya Nadella to the role of board chair, and unanimously elected John W. Thompson who was the predecessor as a lead independent director, a role he held previously from 2012 to 2014.
Nadella, who took over as CEO in 2014 from Steve Ballmer, has been instrumental in scaling up its business including billion-dollar acquisitions like LinkedIn, Nuance Communications, and ZeniMax.
“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 statement.
“As the 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.”
The top-level executive change comes just over a year after Gates stepped down from the board, saying he would focus on philanthropic works of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world’s biggest charities.
In addition to these role changes, the board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.56 per share. The dividend is payable Sept. 9, 2021, to shareholders of record on Aug. 19, 2021. The ex-dividend date will be Aug. 18, 2021.