David A. Grogan | CNBC
Reid Hoffman, founder and Chairman, Linkedin, at 2015 WEF in Davos, Switzerland.
Microsoft has elected four new members to its board of directors, bringing the total to 14.
Nine of those 14 have been appointed since Satya Nadella became the company’s third CEO in February 2014. Nadella has already made a significant mark on the company, emphasizing its cloud products over its highly profitable but declining Windows franchise, and getting Microsoft out of the smartphone business, among other moves. The company’s shares are up more than 70 percent since Nadella took over.
The new members had all been previously announced, but were officially elected by shareholders in the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday. The new members are:
- Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, which Microsoft acquired in June 2016
- Hugh Johnston, CFO of Pepsico
- Penny Pritzker, a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and founder-chairman of private investment firm PSP Capital
- Arne Sorenson, the CEO of Marriott International
Mason Morfitt of hedge fund ValueAct has stepped down from the board as well, as expected. Morfitt was invited to join in 2014 after his firm acquired a 0.8% stake in the company in 2013. ValueAct reportedly pressured the company to replace then-CEO Steve Ballmer, and its CEO wanted Microsoft to release Office for Apple’s iPad – a move that Ballmer resisted, and one of the first things Nadella did when he took over.
With the new appointments, only three of Microsoft’s independent board members predate Nadella’s tenure: Chairman John Thompson, who joined in 2012; former Bank of America Vice Chair Charles Noski, who joined in 2003; and former BMW Chairman Helmut Panke, who also joined in 2003.
Nadella and founder Bill Gates are also on the board. The full list is here.