It's official: Microsoft adds ValueAct's Morfit to the board

It's official: Microsoft adds ValueAct's Morfit to the board

Summary: Mason Morfit, the president of activist shareholder ValueAct Capital, is officially now a member of Microsoft's board of directors.


After months of alleged wrangling, Microsoft has added Mason Morfit, the President of activist shareholder ValueAct Capital, to the company's board.


Microsoft officials made the announcement on March 11 via a press release.

In late August last year, Microsoft and ValueAct announced an agreement that gave ValueAct the option of having Morfit join the Microsoft board at the first quarterly board meeting after the 2013 annual shareholders meeting, which was slated for this month, March 2014.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, Microsoft agreed to allow Morfit to join the board to avoid a proxy fight.

Microsoft's board of directors now consists of 11 members: Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO; Dina Dublon, former CFO of JPMorgan Chase; Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and newly appointed technology advisor; Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College; Stephen Luczo, chairman and CEO of Seagate; David Marquardt, General Partner at August Capital; Morfit; Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO; Charles Noski, Former Vice Chairman of Bank of America; Helmut Panke, former Chairman of the board of management at BMW; and John W. Thompson, CEO of Virtual Instruments.

Thompson was appointed the new chair of Microsoft's board, replacing Gates, on February 4, the same day that Nadella was named CEO. 

"Eight of the 11 board members are independent of Microsoft, which is consistent with the requirement in the company’s governance guidelines that a substantial majority be independent," the press release notes.

Morfit is believed to be in favor of seeing Microsoft focus more on its strengths -- its enterprise software and service assets -- and less so on consumer and hardware.

Microsoft also announced yesterday that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.28 per share. The dividend is payable June 12, 2014, to shareholders of record on May 15, 2014.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Cloud, Microsoft, Leadership


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • leader of the "let's retreat" faction

    this guy is the ultimate wallstreet vampire looking to suck as much cash out of the company by basically sending it into a long term returns while sacrificing all future investments. Hopefully his power will be kept in check by those that don't share his vision to basically beach the ship and abandon all ventures into new markets.
    • Debate is good

      Sometimes, unchecked diversification has adverse consequences. There's even a word for it: deworsification.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • About time

    It's time for Microsoft's blood transfusion to commence.
    • John Thompson

      I consider John Thompson, the Chairman of Microsoft's Board of Directors, to be new blood. He also had a front row seat for IBM's transformation whilst at IBM in the 90s.

      That's two, and counting.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Lets hope some ethics goes with it...

    to improve Microsoft.
    • Wall Street Guy and Ethics?

      I think you really need to come out of basement.
      Ram U
    • You have none

      so why should you require others to?