‘Strategic Leadership’ Leads to a 66% Raise for Microsoft’s Nadella

In its proxy statement, Microsoft announced a significant raise for CEO Satya Nadella.

Citing his ‘strategic leadership,’ Microsoft’s independent board awarded Nadella $42.9 million in compensation, much of it in stock awards. Nadella has been instrumental in helping Microsoft transition from a company primarily focused on operating systems and office software to one whose cloud services are front-and-center. This has enabled Microsoft to adapt to a changing landscape dominated by fast-moving, upstart companies. The success of Nadella’s leadership is shown in the numbers.

“Under Mr. Nadella’s leadership and ongoing commitment to long-term success, the Company saw a strong finish to a record fiscal year delivering more than $125 billion in revenue for the full year with double-digit revenue and net income growth in 2019.

“The commercial cloud business led the way, surpassing $38 billion in revenue, growing over 40% for the year. The strength in commercial cloud growth was across Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and LinkedIn. The commitment to customer success resulted in deeper partnerships and larger, longer-term cloud agreements. Microsoft continued to make investments across the key strategic areas to build new platforms and enhance and differentiate Microsoft’s technology stack, including application infrastructure, data and artificial intelligence (“AI”) business process, productivity, collaboration, and hardware. Microsoft Teams had a very successful year, with more than 13 million daily active users and 19 million weekly active users.

“Further, the closing of the GitHub acquisition in October 2018 and its successful integration has created new opportunities to build the developer community. With GitHub, Microsoft now has the opportunity to bring all its resources to better serve this very important community of developers around the world. Microsoft also invested in building a developer toolchain independent of language, framework, or cloud. Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code are now the most popular code-editing tools in the world, and TypeScript is the fastest-growing programming language.

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“Windows 10 momentum was very strong this past year as well, reaching 800 million active devices. While opportunities remain for the Company with consumers, the Company’s Gaming business made new investments to empower the world’s gaming community. However, the Company needs to make progress to strengthen our consumer business and additional work is needed in consumer-facing strategies.”

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