The independent directors of the Microsoft board have unanimously elected the company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, to the role of board chair, a move that will see him work to set the agenda for the board, drawing upon his deep understanding of the business.
Nadella took over from Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO in early 2014. He joined the company in 1992 from Sun Microsystems. Since taking on the CEO duties, he has overseen the company’s expansion in areas such as cloud and social media, with the company acquiring LinkedIn for US$26 billion in 2016.
Nadella replaces John W. Thompson in the chair role, with Thompson elected by the board as lead independent director, a role he held previously from 2012 to 2014.
In his new board role, Nadella will work to elevate the “right” strategic opportunities for the company from the board level and identify key risks and mitigation approaches for the board’s review.
As lead independent director, meanwhile, 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.
Microsoft seems to have gone from strength to strength under Nadella's leadership as CEO, with the company's Azure offering proving to be a particular bright spot in the company's growth trajectory.
Microsoft's cloud business is now among the largest in the world.
As reported in May, the global public cloud services market grew 34.1 per cent year over year, to US$312 billion, in 2020, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft duking it out for the number one spot for revenue share.
According to analyst firm IDC, Microsoft and AWS both share the top spot in the public cloud services market, with both companies holding 12.8 per cent revenue share for the year in 2020.