Microsoft appoints Brad Smith as vice chair

Smith will continue to report to CEO Satya Nadella as the tech giant's president

Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith

Microsoft's board of directors has approved the appointment of the company's president, Brad Smith, to the dual-role of vice chair. 

The appointment is an updated executive role for Smith who will continue to report to Nadella as president of Microsoft.

Smith has been with the tech giant since 1993, joining from the law firm Covington & Burling to initially lead Microsoft's legal team, which has seen him deal with a number of antitrust concerns from regulators. He is now widely regarded as of the firm's top executives, in charge of over 1,500 members of staff. 

He also regularly fronts tech events and represents the software company at various conferences. Smith has been recognised by the board, for his work on sustainability, responsible AI and external COVID efforts. 

"This [appointment] 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 CEO of Microsoft. 

Smith became Microsoft president in 2015, the same year he joined the board of directors at Netflix. He is also an author, having co-written the book "Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age" with Carol Ann Browne in 2019.

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The book has also been updated by Smith with insight into how the company viewed and dealt with, the SolarWinds saga. This cyber attack, which saw hackers breach a Microsoft support agent to target customers, is thought to have been the work of Russian-state sponsored attackers and its impact has been felt around the has world. 

The announcement of Smith's promotion came at the same time as the Microsoft board of directors approved a new share repurchase programme, authorising up to $60 billion in share repurchase. The programme has no expiration date but can be terminated at any time. 

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