Microsoft shaking up its board once again amidst MSFT share price gains

Microsoft’s last Board of Directors shakeup saw two retirements and two new additions, and as with all corporate boards, the changes aren’t stopping there. According to The Seattle Times, Microsoft’s board will be experiencing some additional changes soon.

First, we have Maria Klawe retiring after six years on the board. With her departure, only three board members remain who were on the board prior to 2012. Co-founder Bill Gates, of course, remains the longest-running board member.

Two women were nominated to succeed Klawe, which of course requires another board seat (for a total of 11 directors). Sandra Peterson from Johnson & Johnson and Padmasree Warrior from Cisco are the nominees.

Sandra Peterson, group worldwide chairman of Johnson & Johnson.

Sandra Peterson, group worldwide chairman of Johnson & Johnson.

Padmasree Warrior, former chief technology officer of Cisco.

Padmasree Warrior, former chief technology officer of Cisco.

In more news, Microsoft stock hit very close to an all-time high earlier this morning, trading at $55.96. You have to go back to December 31, 1999 for a higher share price, when MSFT traded at $58.38.

Today is a good day to own shares in MSFT.

Today is a good day to own shares in MSFT.

With Microsoft showing some strength with its stock price, CEO Satya Nadella shouldn’t suffer too much from seeing his salary cut from $84,308,755 in fiscal 2014 to $18,294,270 in fiscal 2015. He also received a grant of up to 2.7 million MSFT shares based on the MSFT price, which at today’s price would equal $151,092,000. Clearly, Nadella is being well-compensated for the recent success of Microsoft’s “cloud-first, mobile-first” strategy, while sharing in the risk of the strategy’s future performance.

Finally, we note that Bill Gates decreased his ownership stake in Microsoft, with his shares dropping from 290 million in 2014 to 222 million shares in 2015. That’s a decrease from 3.6% to 2.8% of outstanding MSFT shares.

Microsoft is making some serious fundamental changes to how the company is doing business, and apparently the stock market agrees with what they’re trying to do. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how the company performance financially, because of course that will determine whether Nadella stick with the current strategy or tries something even more different.

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