In a sort of promotion, Microsoft President Brad Smith has been approved by the company’s board to come aboard as vice chairman.
Smith’s new leadership role won’t interfere with his current daily duties as Microsoft president but represents a reflection of his position among political, legislative, bureaucratic, and regulatory bodies as he represents the company.
“This reflects the unique leadership role that Brad plays for the company, our board of directors and me, with governments and other external stakeholders around the world,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft.
Since his promotion to Microsoft president and chief legal officer in 2015 by now CEO Satya Nadella, Smith has spearheaded the company’s public relations policies for high profile situations that include a three-way draw between the US Department of Defense, Microsoft and Amazon, privacy and surveillance request from local governments and anti-consumer complaints from the EU.
In addition to Smith coming aboard. Microsoft announced a quarterly dividend increase as well as a new share purchase program. There appears to be no causation between the two announcements but perhaps a light correlation that reflects kindly of Smith’s ability to navigate what could be some bumpy legislative battles in the future for Microsoft.
As for details on the quarterly dividends, the company declared $0.62 per share which represents an 11 percent increase over the current dividend offering, or an additional 6 cents. The increased dividend will be payable December 9, 2021, and to shareholders of record on November 18, 2021. The old dividend offering will pay out on November 17, 2021, for late movers.
Microsoft’s share purchase program is a little bit vaguer where the company approved up to $60 billion in share repurchasing but offered no expiration dates and included a termination clause that can be invoked at any time.
The company may offer more details at its next shareholders meeting, which is scheduled for later this Fall on November 30, 2021, and with newly minted vice chair Brad Smith in attendance.