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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Janet I. Tu.

Topic: board

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March 11, 2014 at 10:22 PM

Microsoft expands board, announces quarterly dividend

Microsoft expanded its board to 11 members Tuesday with the addition of G. Mason Morfit, 38, president of ValueAct Capital. The move was expected — the result of an agreement announced last August in which Microsoft’s board averted a proxy battle. Under the agreement, ValueAct Capital won the option of a board seat and regular meetings…

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March 5, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Report: Nadella initially against Microsoft acquiring Nokia’s phone business

Newly appointed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, along with Bill Gates, were among those initially opposed to former CEO Steve Ballmer’s proposal to acquire Nokia’s handset business, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek report today looking behind the scenes at what led to the eventual $7.2 billion acquisition.

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November 20, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Ballmer was re-elected to Microsoft’s board with 91 percent yes votes

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who said he would be retiring within 12 months, is one the company’s nine board members who were reelected to those positions at the annual shareholders’ meeting yesterday.

He was, however, reelected with the lowest percentage of “yes” votes:  90.66 percent, according to a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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October 29, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Proxy advisory firm recommends not re-electing Microsoft CEO search chair to board

John Thompson, chairman of Microsoft's board committee searching for the company's new CEO. (Photo from Microsoft)

John Thompson, chairman of Microsoft’s board committee searching for the company’s new CEO. (Photo from Microsoft)

[This post has been updated to include Microsoft's comments.]

Glass Lewis, a proxy advisory firm, has recommended to Microsoft shareholders that they not re-elect John Thompson to the company’s board.

Thompson, CEO of Virtual Instruments, is the lead independent director on Microsoft’s board and is leading the committee searching for Microsoft’s next CEO.

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October 1, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Report: Some top Microsoft investors want Bill Gates off the board [updated]

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates (photo from Microsoft)

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates (photo from Microsoft)

Several of Microsoft’s top investors feel Microsoft co-founder and board chairman Bill Gates’ presence on the board is now a hindrance and are lobbying the board to push for Gates to step down as chairman, according to a Reuters report.

The report, which cites “people familiar with the matter,” says that three of Microsoft’s top 20 investors are lobbying for the ouster, believing that “Gates’ presence on the board effectively blocks the adoption of new strategies and would limit the power of a new chief executive to make substantial changes. In particular, they point to Gates’ role on the special committee searching for Ballmer’s successor. They are also worried that Gates – who spends most of his time on his philanthropic foundation – wields power out of proportion to his declining shareholding.”

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July 22, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Who are Microsoft’s largest shareholders?

There’s been a lot of buzz in the past few days about activist shareholder ValueAct’s apparent push for a seat on Microsoft’s board.

ValueAct Holdings, which disclosed earlier this year that it had purchased some $2 billion of Microsoft stock, has been talking with some Microsoft board members and large institutional shareholders about gaining a seat on Microsoft’s board, according to a Reuters report.

But with a less than 1 percent stake in the company, does ValueAct have the power to gain such a seat?

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