Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hails as the New Chairman, replaces John Thompson

Satya Nadella, the third CEO of Microsoft, will also be the third chairman in Microsoft’s history, following Bill Gates and John Thompson. Microsoft said John Thompson will serve as lead independent director.


Microsoft on Wednesday June 16th, made the announcement of its new chairman, the position being accoladed to Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, in replacement of John Thompson.

On being handed over the profile of CEO in 2014 – Nadella had been quite consistent & shown remarkable feats in amplifying business which includes some outstanding billion-dollar acquisitions like LinkedIn, Nuance Communications, and ZeniMax.

The company further notified that Thompson, who succeeded Bill Gates as a chairman in 2014, will be working as lead independent director.

In one of its statement, Microsoft said that “In the new role, Nadella will be leading the work to set the agenda for the board, leverage his deep understanding of the business to elevate the right strategic opportunities and identify key risks and mitigation approaches for the board’s review. As 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.”

Satya Nadella, who was named the chairman of Microsoft was born in Hyderabad on August 19, 1967. He completed his graduation in electrical engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka in 1988. Later he got his master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, the US in 1990. He initiated his career at Sun Microsystems.

Nadella joined Microsoft as an engineer in 1992 and was among the few Indians to enjoy the perks of promotion to the executive role in 2000. In his book Hit Refresh, Nadella clearly showcases on the fact that despite many top-performing Indians, there were no Indian Vice Presidents in the organization. He was crowned with multiple executive roles and his corporate journey was on a consistent rise overseeing its search engine Bing to Azure, to the top post in the firm.

In 2011, Nadella was appointed as the Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group. During this role, he transformed the firm’s cloud services to a $20 billion business, gaining market share from its competition.

From 2008 to 2011, he dedicated himself towards learning the cloud—pressure-testing its infrastructure, operations, and economics as a provider of the cloud. This experience enabled him to execute with speed in his new role.

Nadella became the CEO at Microsoft in February 2014 succeeding Steve Ballmer. When Nadella took over, computer sales and the Windows 8 operating system had been stagnant & descending. Moreover, in the smartphone category, the company was simply lagging much behind from competitors like Apple and Google‘s Android. He thus wanted to instil more computing and ambient intelligence to put the company on an ascending sales & tech track.

One of the key changes Nadella did after being appointed as the CEO was cut the funding to Windows, to invest in building a cloud computing business. This leveraged Microsoft’s stagnant journey & gave it a positive acknowledgement against Google Cloud thereby helping it compete better with Amazon Web Services.

Nadella’s inclination towards growth mindset helped accelerate many worthy acquisitions, which includes Swedish firm Mojang that developed the video game Minecraft for $2.5 billion, professional network LinkedIn (2016) that was acquired for $26.2 billion, GitHub (2018) for $7.5 billion, and most recently Nuance (2021) for $19.7 billion.

Nadella’s efforts have been successful in bearing the desired fruits. Under his powerful leadership, Microsoft emerged as the second most valuable company after Apple with a market cap of $1.9 trillion, an incredible yet competitive position one could always dream of achieving.

Let’s look forward to what new buzz the company creates on his appointment as the Chairman.

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