Satya Nadella is the new chairman of Microsoft
File Photo: Satya Nadella
US tech giant Microsoft on Wednesday (16) announced that Satya Nadella, 53, will be its new chairman, replacing John Thompson.
The board’s independent directors unanimously elected Nadella to the role of board chair, and unanimously elected John W Thompson as the lead independent director, Microsoft said.
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.
Microsoft said: “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.”
Born in Hyderabad, India in 1967, Nadella attended the Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet before receiving a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka.
He then traveled to the US to study for an MS in computer science at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Later, he received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Nadella worked at Sun Microsystems as a member of its technology staff before joining Microsoft in 1992.
According to the company, Thompson will retain significant authority including providing input on behalf of the independent directors on board agendas, calling meetings of the independent directors, and setting agendas for executive sessions.
Besides, he will also lead performance evaluations of the CEO.
The top-level executive change comes just over a year after Bill Gates stepped down from the board.
The company also declared a quarterly dividend of 56 cents per share payable on September 9.