In another hallmark move, juggernaut tech industry player Microsoft has made another leadership change and named its CEO Satya Nadella as the new board chairman, making the exec one of the most influential decision-makers in the company and the whole technology sphere worldwide.
The announcement came after the previous Microsoft chairman of the board, John Thompson, stepped down from his post and returned to his former role of lead independent contractor for the mother company’s strategic corporate arm. Thompson first took on the mantle of the chair back in 2014 and served a straight tenure until June 16, 2021, when Microsoft’s decision was made public. Thompson had been scaling back on his deliverables and responsibilities in the past few years, the company shares. Nadella and Thompson had already started discussions on the transition since last fall.
Nadella first joined Microsoft back in 1992, after leaving Sun Microsystems. He has served various leadership roles in the company, including President of the Server and Tools Division, Senior Vice-President of Research and Development for the Online Services Division, Vice-President of the Business Division, Corporate Vice-President of Business Solutions and Search and Advertising Platform Group, and Executive Vice-President of Cloud and Enterprise group.
Satya Nadella became the third person to serve as Microsoft’s chief executive officer, succeeding Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates. After Steve announced in 2013 that he would be retiring in 12 months, he took the role, after which a special committee that included Gates decided that Nadella would be the best fit as the company’s top exec.
During Nadella’s tenure as Microsoft CEO, he emphasized building working relationships with other tech companies in various collaborations. He started forging partnerships with companies previously noted as the corporation’s competitors, such as Apple, Salesforce, IBM, and Dropbox, to name a few. He also spearheaded the initiative to get Microsoft involved in the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member back in 2016. Nadella also revised the company mission statement to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
Under Nadella’s executive leadership, Microsoft has entered a golden age of growth. Taking over a failed attempt to enter the mobile phone and internet search market, Nadella refocused the company’s efforts around cloud computing, mobile application development, and artificial intelligence. He also reorganized the Office software franchise by creating a more cloud-based approach to the productivity suite.
Microsoft’s shares have sky-rocketed since Nadella took control of operations, rising to more than seven times its value and hitting the $2.6 trillion mark. As a result, the company has now increased back to the ranks of tech company conglomerates who control much of the industry’s pulse and tempo.
Satya Nadella, the company’s third CEO in history, will also become the third person to serve as the company’s chairman. By leading at a board level, Satya now owns a reported 1.6 million Microsoft company shares.
In December 2020, Microsoft also reported a 14% revenue growth despite the grueling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the worldwide economy. “The board credits Mr. Nadella for his tremendous progress driving cultural change across the organization, especially given the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on our business and our people,” Microsoft shares in a company statement.