Microsoft appoints CEO Satya Nadella to board chair


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Why it matters: Microsoft’s board has appointed CEO Satya Nadella to the role of board chair. In his new role, Nadella will lead efforts to set the agenda for the board. The move is significant as it marks the first time that the same person has held the position of chief executive and board chair since co-founder Bill Gates stepped down as CEO in January 2000.

Nadella will replace John W. Thompson, who once served as chief executive of Symantec. Thompson joined Microsoft’s board in 2012 and was appointed to chair on February 4, 2014, the same day that Nadella moved up to replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO.

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Microsoft has flourished under Nadella’s watch. When he took over, the company’s stock was trading around the $35 range. Today, a single share of Microsoft stock is worth more than $258, an increase of more than 630 percent.

Among other duties, Nadella has overseen efforts to expand the company through major acquisitions including LinkedIn, ZeniMax and GitHub. He was also in charge when Microsoft bought Minecraft creator Mojang for $2.5 billion.

Thompson, meanwhile, is sticking around as lead independent director, the same role he previously held from 2012 to 2014.

Microsoft also used the presser to announce a quarterly dividend of $0.56 per share, payable on September 9 to shareholders of record on August 19.

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