LISBON, PORTUGAL – November 5, 2019; Brad Smith, President, Microsoft, on the SaaS Monster Stage during the opening day of the Web Summit 2019 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Harry Murphy / Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images)
Harry Murphy | Sports file | Getty Images
Microsoft announced Tuesday that its board of directors has approved the appointment of its president, Brad Smith, as vice chairman. The move comes months after Satya Nadella assumed the role of chairman after joining the board in 2014 when he replaced Steve Ballmer as CEO.
The appointment follows a quarter of a century of contributions for the software and hardware maker, including addressing antitrust concerns from regulators.
“This reflects the unique leadership role Brad has played for the company, our board of directors and me with governments and other external stakeholders around the world,” Nadella was quoted in a statement.
Smith, 62, is Microsoft’s top attorney and regularly represents the software company in political discussions. He is one of Microsoft’s top executives, according to a bio on Microsoft’s website, leading over 1,500 legal and corporate employees in 54 countries.
Microsoft recognized his work on sustainability, responsible artificial intelligence, external Covid-19 efforts and employee diversity in fiscal 2020 in its most recent proxy statement, in which he received total annual compensation of $ 16.7 million. Smith owns approximately 732,000 Microsoft shares valued at approximately $ 217 million, according to FactSet.
He joined Microsoft in 1993 from Covington & Burling law firm to lead Microsoft’s corporate and legal affairs in Europe and became Microsoft General Counsel in 2002. According to his biography, he took care of the settlement of cartel cases for the next ten years.
Smith became President of Microsoft and joined Netflix’s board of directors in 2015. He co-authored Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age with Carol Ann Browne, a 2019 book devoted to privacy and security.
Smith will continue to report to Nadella, Microsoft said.
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