Microsoft Appoints Smith as Vice President, Begins $60 Billion Buyback

(Bloomberg) — Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, named president and chief legal officer Brad Smith vice chairman and unveiled a new $60 billion share repurchase program.

Smith, who joined Microsoft in 1993 and became General Counsel in 2002, will continue to report to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, the Redmond, Washington-based company said in a statement Tuesday. Smith’s new role makes him vice chairman of the company, not the board, and he will not become a director, Microsoft said.

In recent years, Smith has overseen a growing list of policy, governmental and legal issues at Microsoft, including relations with foreign governments such as China, political endowments and programs to expand nationwide broadband services and access to vocational skills. He was also a vocal representative of Microsoft’s vision on sustainability, immigration, voting rights, search engine payments for news and data privacy.

Smith, who has spent years resolving Microsoft’s antitrust disputes around the world, has so far helped the company steer clear of the new wave of regulatory oversight that rivals like Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

Since taking the helm of Microsoft in 2014, Nadella has revived the company’s leadership in the tech industry by growing in key companies such as cloud computing, mobile applications and artificial intelligence.

The company’s resurgence has given it a market cap of more than $2.2 trillion and has helped it continue to amass a cash stack of more than $130 billion that it has used to fund acquisitions and pay dividends and buybacks. stimulate.

The purchase authorization has no expiration date and can be terminated at any time. The company’s shares are up 35% in 2021, making it the second most valuable publicly traded company. Microsoft’s previous buyback plan, unveiled in September 2019, was $40 billion.

The company also increased its quarterly dividend by 6 cents to 62 cents per share.

(Updates detailing Smith’s role in the second, third paragraph.)

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