The Microsoft board of directors has approved company president Brad Smith to be its new vice chairman. He will continue as president and will continue to report to CEO Satya Nadella.
“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,” Mr. Nadella said.
Smith joined Microsoft in 1993, but his big move into the spotlight came in 2002 when he was promoted to general counsel and became a senior vice president. During that time, he oversaw Microsoft’s many regulatory difficulties and he presented a much more conciliatory stance to regulators than Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer had.
But Smith has had a higher and more public profile under Mr. Nadella. He was promoted to the role of president and chief legal officer by Nadella in 2015 and has since been responsible for Microsoft’s corporate, compliance, external, and legal activities. And as a lobbyist for Microsoft, he often pens public-facing policy communications. He is also the co-author of the book “Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age.”