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Microsoft Names CEO Satya Nadella As Chairman

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Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Wednesday said that CEO Satya Nadella has been elected as Chairman of the company's board. Nadella replaces independent director John Thompson, following a unanimous vote of the software company's board.

Nadella becomes the first person to hold the top two positions in Microsoft since co-founder Bill Gates stepped down as CEO in 2000.

"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," Microsoft said in a statement.

Under Nadella's watch, Microsoft has successfully switched from a software-focused company to a dominant leader in cloud business. Azure cloud computing, productivity and gaming divisions have driven the company's growth to record revenues and earnings. The acquisitions of business social network LinkedIn, source code-sharing site GitHub and video-game developer Zenimax also contributed to its rise. Microsoft is currently the second most valuable company behind Apple, with a market value above $1.9 trillion.

Meanwhile, former Chairman John Thompson will return to his role as lead independent director. Thompson, formerly CEO of Symantec, joined Microsoft's board in 2012 and replaced Gates as Microsoft's chair in 2014, on the same day Nadella replaced Steve Ballmer as the Microsoft CEO.

MSFT is currently trading at $261.37, up $3.99 or 1.55%, on the Nasdaq.

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